Change Re:Clostridium difficile molecular testing

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 5:01:46 PM

Effective June 1, 2012 Clostridium difficile molecular testing will replace traditional EIA toxin testing. The reason for this change is to be in alignment with the latest ASM guidelines for C. difficile testing and deliver the highest quality patient results.

In accordance with the American Society of Microbiology guidelines, United Health Services Microbiology Laboratory has updated its testing guidance and sample rejection criteria to include the following:
•Limit testing to patients with >=3 non-formed stool specimens per 24 hour period
•Only liquid stools are acceptable unless ileus (obstruction) is present
•Formed stool is unacceptable and will be rejected
•No longer use the toxin A/B EIA
•Lack of sensitivity leads to inaccurate results; therefore no longer recommended as a stand-alone test.
•No longer accept samples for test of cure.
•If a patient is positive for C. difficile, no additional specimens will be accepted for 10 days. The assay is not approved to test for cure, since nucleic acids may persist after effective treatment and may prompt false positive results.
•No longer accept samples for repeat testing if original patient sample is negative.
•Submission of more than one specimen within 7 days is not recommended
•Molecular tests for C. difficile are highly sensitive and a negative result does not need to be confirmed by a second specimen.

United Health Services Microbiology Laboratory will perform the illumigene C. difficile test for all stool specimens submitted for C. difficile diagnosis, thereby providing the most superior method for detection of C. difficile infections. By ordering C. difficle testing in the computer system, the specimen will automatically be tested with the new method, no need for a special order.

For additional C. difficile resources, or if you have and additional questions or concerns, please contact the microbiology department at 607-763-6528.

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