Faecal Multiplex PCR Testing

Laverty Pathology has introduced a Faecal Multiplex PCR for the detection of ten major enteric pathogens.

Detects Salmonella sp, Campylobacter sp, Shigella sp, Yersinia enterocolitica, Aeromonas sp, Giardia sp, Entamoeba histolytica, Dientamoeba sp, Blastocystis sp and Cryptosporidium sp.

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Faecal Multiplex PCR Doctor Information Sheet

Why Request Faecal PCR?

  • Superior sensitivity for detection of the most common enteric protozoans and bacteria

  • Improved turnaround time (24hr)

Enteric Protozoans

Conventional Method: 11 - 90%
Multiplex PCR: 97 - 100%

Enteric Bacteria

Conventional Method: 25 - 89%
Multiplex PCR: 100%

Results and turnaround time

Conventional Method: 48 - 96 hours
Multiplex PCR: 24 hours

The detection of bacterial and parasitic enteric pathogens in stool specimens by conventional culture and microscopy is labour intensive and time consuming. Molecular methods provide a means for sensitive and rapid detection of enteric pathogens with improved performance and turnaround time. In a recent evaluation conducted at Laverty Pathology, the Multiplex PCR was evaluated and compared with the conventional methods for detection of the above nine pathogens causing gastroenteritis and was found to have superior sensitivity and specificity with reduced turnaround time.

Enteric protozoans

The sensitivity of the Multiplex PCR for the enteric protozoans  when compared to microscopy varied from 97 - 100%; whereas the sensitivity of the microscopy compared to PCR varied from 11 - 90%.

Enteric pathogenic bacteria

The sensitivity of the Multiplex PCR for the enteric pathogenic bacteria compared to culture was 100%; whereas the sensitivity of culture compared to Multiplex PCR varied from 25% - 89%.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time for results from Multiplex PCR was 24 hours compared with conventional methods which take 48 - 96 hours.

Advantage to the patient

  1. Correct and rapid diagnosis can be made, therefore, this allows for:
    1. Early and timely institution of therapy.
    2. All five protozoa can be successfully treated with a range of anti-protozoal drugs.
    3. Presumptive therapy for enteric bacterial infections can be initiated if clinically indicated awaiting formal susceptibilities following culture.
  2. Timely reporting of food-borne diseases and the prevention of additional cases in outbreak setting.

Does the patient still require Faeces microscopy, culture and sensitivity(MCS) examination?

Yes, the Multiplex PCR detects only ten faecal pathogens namely Salmonella spCampylobacter spShigella spYersinia enterocoliticaAeromonas sp,Giardia spEntamoeba histolyticaDientamoeba spBlastocystis sp and Cryptosporidium sp.

Therefore, MCS is required for:

  1. Detection of infection by a protozoan or other parasites and enteric bacteria that is not covered by the Multiplex PCR.
  2. Culture for bacterial pathogens aids in identification to the species or serovar level and the generation of an antimicrobial susceptibility profile. 

How to place your order

Simply request ‘Faeces MCS + PCR’ on a Laverty Pathology Request Form. Medicare rebates apply.

For further information, please contact the Microbiology Department on (02) 9005 7000.