What is the purpose of a stool culture?
Stool culture is performed to identify bacteria or other organisms in persons with symptoms of gastrointestinal infection, most commonly diarrhea. Identification of the organism is necessary to determine the treatment of the patient’s infection or to trace the cause of an outbreak or epidemic of certain types of diarrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors are most likely to order a stool culture for patients with any of the following characteristics: AIDS, bloody stools, diarrhea lasting longer than three days, high fever, history of recent travel abroad, or severe dehydration. Source: The Gale Group.