Due to national concern about gastroenteritis caused by Shiga toxin producing E. Coli, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the New York State Dept. of Health have recently made a recommendation to test all stool culture samples for the presence of Shiga Toxin. These recommendations have been made because the Shiga Toxin assay provides better sensitivity than culture for the O157:H7 serotype. In addition, the antigen test provides a more complete picture of Enterohemorrhagic E. Coli (EHEC) infection by detecting Shiga Toxin production which may result from E. Coli serotypes other than the O157:H7.
EHEC is recognized as an important cause of endemic diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). The most important serotype associated with outbreaks in the U.S. to date has been O157:H7, but more than 100 other non-O157:H7 EHEC have been reported to be associated with human disease, including HUS.
Due to these recommendations the Microbiology Department at UHS began testing for Shiga Toxin on all qualifying liquid stool specimens with stool cultures ordered on November 22, 2010.
The routine Stool Culture will now include:
∙Salmonella ∙Shigella ∙Campylobacter
∙Shiga Toxin Type 1 and 2 Antigens
If you have questions about this test please contact the Microbiology Dept at 763-6528.