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: Collect 5-10 mL of liquid or unformed stool in a sterile container.

Formed stools are unacceptable and will not be processed.
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: 2021-09-09
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments:  
Special Processing: Samples are processed by a PCR screening technique (toxin gene). If results are positive, the specimen is tested by an enzyme immunoassay (toxin protein).
Comments: 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 2 year of age. Children may carry C. difficile asymptomatically. Presence of this toxin may not be diagnostic of infection.

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

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.
If patient condition changes and testing is required, page Microbiologist on call for approval (Pager#19000).
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:  

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