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J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Jun;38(6):2267-70.

A survey of stool culturing practices for vibrio species at clinical laboratories in Gulf Coast states.

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Non-cholera Vibrio infections are an important public health problem. Non-cholera Vibrio species usually cause sporadic infections, often in coastal states, and have also caused several recent nationwide outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the United States. We report a survey of laboratory stool culturing practices for Vibrio among randomly selected clinical laboratories in Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas). Interviews conducted with the microbiology supervisors of 201 clinical laboratories found that 164 (82%) received stool specimens for culture. Of these, 102 (62%) of 164 processed stool specimens on site, and 20 (20%) of these 102 laboratories cultured all stool specimens for Vibrio, indicating that at least 34,463 (22%) of 152, 797 stool specimens were cultured for Vibrio. This survey suggests that despite an increased incidence of non-cholera Vibrio infections in Gulf Coast states, a low percentage of clinical laboratories routinely screen all stool specimens, and fewer than 25% of stool specimens collected are routinely screened for non-cholera Vibrio.

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