Stool Specimen Collection
for Rotavirus and Clostridium Testing

I. General Information

Pseudomembranous colitis (PMC) related to antimicrobial therapy is caused primarily by Clostridium difficile toxin. C. difficile may also be involved in a similar disease not related to antimicrobial therapy but following the use of methotrexate and other cytotoxic agents, in exacerbations of inflammatory bowel disease, and in complications of strangulation obstruction of the bowel. The C. difficile PCR assay is a rapid method for the detection of C. difficile toxin B gene DNA in human fecal samples, to be used as an aid in the detection of C. difficile-associated disease.

Rotavirus is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, especially in children 6 to 24 months of age. In addition, rotavirus infections can produce severe illness as well as asymptomatic infection in adults. The incubation period of rotavirus infection is usually 1-3 days followed by gastroenteritis with an average duration of 5-8 days. Virus titers are highest shortly after the onset of illness. Rotavirus EIA is a rapid method for detecting rotavirus in stools.

II. Collection of Specimens

  1. C. difficile - Stool/feces: Collect a minimum of 2 ml of stool sample in an appropriately labeled sterile container. Specimens should be liquid or soft. (Formed, hardened stool specimens are not acceptable.) Store and transport to the laboratory at 2-8°C.
  2. Rotavirus - Stool/Feces: Collect a minimum of 2 ml of stool sample in an appropriately labeled sterile container. Store and transport to the laboratory at 2-8°C.