Journal Article

Laboratory Practices for Stool-Specimen Culture for Bacterial Pathogens, Including <i>Escherichia coli</i> O157:H7, in the FoodNet Sites, 1995–2000

Andrew C. Voetsch, Frederick J. Angulo, Terry Rabatsky-Ehr, Sue Shallow, Maureen Cassidy, Stephanie M. Thomas, Ellen Swanson, Shelley M. Zansky, Marguerite A. Hawkins, Timothy F. Jones, Pamela J. Shillam, Thomas J. Van Gilder, Joy G. Wells and Patricia M. Griffin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue Supplement_3, pages S190-S197
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/381586
Laboratory Practices for Stool-Specimen Culture for Bacterial Pathogens, Including Escherichia coli O157:H7, in the FoodNet Sites, 1995–2000

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In 2000, we surveyed microbiologists in 388 clinical laboratories, which tested an estimated 339,000 stool specimens in 1999, about laboratory methods and policies for the routine testing of stool specimens for Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Vibrio species, Yersinia entercolitica, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. The results were compared with those of similar surveys conducted in 1995 and 1997. Although these laboratories reported routinely testing for Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter species, only 57% routinely tested for E. coli O157:H7, 50% for Y. entercolitica, and 50% for Vibrio species. The mean proportions of stool specimens that yielded these pathogens were as follows: Campylobacter, 1.3% of specimens; Salmonella, 0.9%; Shigella, 0.4%; and E. coli O157:H7, 0.3%. The proportion of laboratories that routinely tested for E. coli O157:H7 increased from 59% in 1995 to 68% in 2000; however, the proportion of stool specimens tested decreased from 53% to 46%. E. coli O157:H7 should be routinely sought in stool specimens submitted for microbiologic culture.

Journal Article.  5591 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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