Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » Stool cultures check for what?

03-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
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Stool cultures check for what?

I have always assumed that routine stool cultures would find and identify certain types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites that are causing infections or diseases.

However, looking back at my daughters previous stool cultures, it was only negative for a specific bacteria; this was what the result said:

Negative for shiga toxins 1 and 2. Shiga toxin NOT detected by immunoassay, suggesting that a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Not present.

Does anyone have more info about stool cultures and why we are not checking IBD patients for every bacteria/parasite of fungus that could be causing the inflammation?

It just seems like if we are only testing for one or two, that could be there, we are leaving out so many others. since we would normally treat any found, such as C.Diff, should we not consider the fact that each IBD patient has a good chance of a bad bacteria causing problems...
Daughter (age 17) diagnosed with Crohns Colitis/UC 1/2012 Mod/severe changed to U.C.: 11/7/2014 anemia:blood transfusion current: Flare, weaning from Prednisone, still bloating: Meds ,Pentesa: 2000mg twice daily, Vegan diet, mesalamine enemas .Previous: mercaptopurine, Remicade (13 treatments), Imuran, prednisone ), Flagyl, iron infusions, cortifoam,
Continue to be hopeful
Daughter: age 21, undiagnosed: GI issues
03-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: United Kingdom

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Hi Hope,
I think the dry cultures (petri dish method) are not representative of the natural internal environment. If you can get a broth culture you could expect to find more. Some pathogens may require PCR testing. In the UK, it depends on where you live as to what is available. I don't know what is the scenario in the US. Here in the UK, under the NHS, it is nearly always about money. They certainly don't do broth cultures where I live in the UK - I asked - but it's the relatively "poor" North West PCR is expensive so it is doubtful they do that anywhere in the UK unless you are part of a research study, or have gone to some private lab.

Sometimes going private to a private lab may pay off.

I was told my stools don't have any bacteria - though stools are full of bacteria!!! I think this shows the limits of the dry culture method. I also see bubbles coming out of my stools in the toilet, and had basic old fashioned microscopy done on a stool sample overseas and the lab guy said I have bacterial overload, and also diagnosed me with entamoeba histolytica cysts and trophozoites. They did not find any amoeba in the UK though I only had 3 tests - they say do between 3 and 6 because E. histolytica can shed intermittently. I still worry I am carrying this pathogen. I tooks the meds I got in Egypt but my symptoms preceded the trip to Egypt and I did not get dysentry whilst I was there so I think if I do/did have it I must have had it before. I still have the same symptoms but reduced by all the anti-inflammatory herbs I take: turmeric, oregano oil and bromelain in particular.

There is a strong link between Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and Crohn's Disease. The difficulty is finding it. A biopsy of a lesion and PCR amplification might be the way to go. I am not really sure.

I think all Crohn's patients, Celiacs, and those with IBS, etc, have dysbiosis - imbalance of good bacteria versus those pathogenic organisms. Make sure your daughter (and the rest of the family) have a good probiotic - is especially important with antibiotic use.

Best wishes.
03-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Hope345's Avatar
thank you for your response. That is what I was thinking was happening.

I am not sure why they have not taken more of a bacterial/microbe approach, where some doctors have: Like Dr Borody.

I have been talking with him about the use of probiotics since he promotes the fecal transplant. he sent me a technical paper that shows how complicated the gut is and why the fecal transplant may have a better result. I should post it in here.

We have started our daughter on store bought Kefir, and plan to make our own eventually. I think this might be a huge key in putting her into remission. it just seems to fit.

I agree with you about the imbalance in microbes for so many diseases. I had read that about cancer and more recently in regards to heart disease. The more I hear, the more I know we are on the right track.

best to you too
04-26-2016, 07:58 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2010

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Hi there! I found this post when searching. I realise it is very old, but I'm having this problem now. I was never tested for anything but bacterias when I first got colitis in 2009, and although I've never responded to steroids (only got worse), I've never been tested for amoebas. Just recently moved to Asia, where my new doctor tested me for amoeba and I've got cysts and amoebas present. My symptoms are the same as they have always been, so I'm thinking I could have had it all along. Did you find out anything about this, juljul ? Did you get rid of the amoeba? How are you today? Hope, I would say it is worth going private if you can't get them to do more tests, and you suspect there could be an infection of some sort.
- Sophia

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