Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile toxin

Test Name: Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile toxin
Alternate Name(s): C. difficile
Laboratory: Microbiology (VH)
Specimen Type: Faeces
Collection Information: C. difficile testing is indicated for patients with unexplained new-onset diarrhea (≥3 unformed stools within the last 24 hours).

Toxin testing in not performed on children less than 1 year of age.

1. Testing is not routinely performed in children with diarrhea who are 1 2 years of age unless other infectious or noninfectious causes have been excluded, contact the Microbiologist on call for approval (Pager #19000).

Have patient pass liquid or unformed stool directly into a clean, dry container.
Send at least 5-10 mL.

Formed stools are unacceptable and will not be processed for C. difficile toxin.
Test Schedule: Batched and performed twice daily.
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
1 day
Reference Range:  
Effective Date: 2008-02-08
Revised Date: 2020-08-27
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Samples are processed by a PCR screening technique (toxin gene). If results are positive, they will be tested by an enzyme immunoassay (toxin protein).
Special Processing:  
Comments: Children may carry C. difficile asymptomatically. Presence of this toxin may not be diagnostic of infection.

Only one sample will be processed per patient within a 7 day period.

Specimens previously positive will not be repeated for at least 14 days.
Method of Analysis: PCR and enzyme immunoassay
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: The specimen must be refrigerated and received in Microbiology within 24 hours of collection.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul