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Technology has improved dramatically

Technology for detecting parasites and other pathogens has improved dramatically since 2013. This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the genetic fingerprint of a wide range of pathogens. This is a far more sensitive test than the old fashioned technique of looking through a microscope.

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There are many possibilites of where these parasites may come from including:

  • contaminated waterways or swimming pools
  • eating uncooked or unwashed contaminated fruit and vegetables
  • bathroom fixtures
  • nappy changing tables
  • sexual contact The use of drugs to lower stomach acid is also believed to increase the risk of a gut parasite.

What we test

PCR Test - Viruses

Technology for detecting parasites and other pathogens has improved dramatically since 2013. This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the genetic fingerprint of a wide range of pathogens. This is a far more sensitive test than the old fashioned technique of looking through a microscope.

This faecal multiplex PCR test detects the following pathogenic viruses:

Adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41 cause acute gastroenteritis primarily in children. Symptoms may include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, and last for approximately 10 days.

Astroviruses are a type of virus that causes diarrhoeal illness (gastroenteritis). Infants and young children are most likely to have diarrhea caused by astroviruses, but the infection also occurs in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus is highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or through contaminated surfaces.

Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus is highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or through contaminated surfaces.

Rotavirus is a highly contagious disease, spread by close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Rotavirus can be prevented with immunisation and attention to hand washing.

Sapovirus is a common cause of viral gastroenteritis predominantly affecting children less than 5 years of age. It occasionally causes outbreaks across all age groups in schools, hospitals and other health-care facilities. Sapovirus-associated diarrhoea is usually mild although severe cases can rarely occur.

PCR Test - Bacteria

Technology for detecting parasites and other pathogens has improved dramatically since 2013. This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the genetic fingerprint of a wide range of pathogens. This is a far more sensitive test than the old fashioned technique of looking through a microscope.

This faecal multiplex PCR test detects the following pathogenic bacteria:

Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile or C. diff, is bacteria that can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea. The infection most commonly affects people who have recently been treated with antibiotics. It can spread easily to others.

Campylobacter infection (campylobacteriosis) is a bacterial infection which most commonly causes gastroenteritis (also known as 'gastro') but may also cause illness affecting the entire body.

Salmonella infection usually results from ingestion of the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands. Eggs, milk, meat or poultry are particularly high risk foods.

Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) are an emerging enteric pathogen associated with cases of acute or persistent diarrhea worldwide in children and adults, and over the past decade has received increasing attention as a cause of watery diarrhoea, which is often persistent.

Shigella infection (shigellosis) is a type of gastroenteritis caused by Shigella bacteria. The symptoms of Shigella infection include fever, diarrhoea, (sometimes with blood and mucous), vomiting and stomach cramps.

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of Escherichia coli and one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhoea in the developing world.

Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) is a type of E. coli bacteria that can make you sick with diarrhoea. It remains an important cause of diarrhoeal disease worldwide.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are human pathogens linked to haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic uremic syndrome.

Cholera is a well-known disease caused by intestinal infection with the toxin-producing bacteria. This potentially fatal diarrhoeal disease results in large volumes of watery stool, causing rapid dehydration.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. It lives in brackish saltwater and causes gastrointestinal illness in humans.

For the majority of people, the bacterium is harmless. However, people who wade or swim in estuarine or sea water with wounds or breaks in their skin, or who ingest raw or undercooked shellfish, may be at risk of infection.

This infectious bacteria can cause gastroenteritis and symptoms beyond the gut. Symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. It can mimic appendicitis or Crohn's disease.

Plesiomonas shigelloides is a bacteria found in soil and water. It has emerged as a cause of enteric disease in humans, especially following the consumption of raw seafood.

PCR Test - Parasites

Technology for detecting parasites and other pathogens has improved dramatically since 2013. This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the genetic fingerprint of a wide range of pathogens. This is a far more sensitive test than the old fashioned technique of looking through a microscope.

This faecal multiplex PCR test detects the following parasites:

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as "Crypto."

Amoebiasis is a parasitic disease (also known as amoebic dysentery) caused by infection with Entamoeba histolytica or another amoeba (for example, E. dispar). The disease may not cause symptoms in most individuals.

Symptoms of Giardia infection can occur with 3 to 25 days and may include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, pale greasy foul-smelling stools, stomach cramps, passing excess gas, bloating, weight loss and fatigue.

Test instructions

Your stool test kit and all instructions are posted directly to you, and there is no need to visit a collection centre.

Mail your sample back to the lab using the prepaid envelope and packaging.

Results for this test available in 2 weeks and will be published in your online dashboard.

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