The spectrum of pathogens that can cause GI infections—bacteria, parasites, and viruses—requires an assortment of classical detection methods (culture, antigen EIA, stool parasite microscopy) in order to target and identify the causative agent. Many of these classical methods suffer from variable specificity and sensitivity, and are often poorly utilized due to a lack of physician understanding of the intended use for each method. Multiplex molecular tests allow for several of the most common GI pathogens to be tested at once, while providing improved analytical specificity and sensitivity versus most classical methodologies.


For additional information regarding testing strategies, refer to our Laboratory Test Directory.

When Should Testing Be Ordered?

  • Persistent or chronic diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Diarrhea in association with systemic illness
  • Immunocompromised status
  • Returned traveler
  • Hospitalized patient
  • Outbreak identification

In healthcare settings and in specific populations (newborns/infants, elderly, or immunocompromised patients), these infections are potentially serious. Rapid diagnosis is important for appropriate treatment and infection control measures.

Benefits of ARUP’s Gastrointestinal PCR Testing

  • Superior sensitivity and specificity for detection of the most common enteric pathogens
  • Faster diagnosis of gastrointestinal infections with fewer tests and reduced costs
  • Easy specimen submission with no required transport media, allowing for other add-on stool testing
  • Co-infections determined by one multi-pathogen panel versus multiple tests
  • No cross-reactivity seen for 43 organisms (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) tested

Specific Supplies

  • Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at 800-522-2787.
  • All tests: Transfer 1 mL (min: 0.5 mL) stool to an unpreserved stool transport vial (ARUP supply #40910).

Additional Resources