A stool culture is done to:
- Find the cause of symptoms, such as severe or bloody diarrhea, an increased amount of gas, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping and fever, especially if you drank untreated water from a stream or lake or have been traveling outside of the country.
- Find and identify certain types of bacteria, viruses or fungi that are causing infections or diseases, such as food poisoning, inflammation of the large intestine (colitis), cholera and typhoid.
- Identify a person who may not have any symptoms of disease but who carries bacteria that can spread infection to others. This person is called a carrier. A person who is a carrier and who handles food is likely to infect others.
- Find out if treatment for an infection has been effective.
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