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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

Faecal Microscopy & Culture

MCS is performed for detection of infection by a protozoan or other parasites and enteric bacteria.

PCR Test - Bacteria
This faecal multiplex PCR test detects the following bacteria

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.

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.

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

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.

Aeromonas are bacteria that can cause an acute diarrhoeal illness that normally clears without treatment. It is a fairly common cause of gastroenteritis, which occurs most often throughout the warm summer months in most countries.

PCR Test - Parasites
This faecal multiplex PCR test detects the following parasites

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.

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

The bacteria can be present in the gut for months or year and misdiagnosed as IBS. Infection can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, anal itching, nausea, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, depression, weight loss and fatigue.

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.

Some research suggests that people with IBS may be more likely to have Blastocystis hominis organisms in their stool.

Test instructions

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

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

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