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J Lab Med Qual Assur. 2017 Mar;39(1):23-30. Korean. Practice Guideline.
Byun JH , Oh SI , Park H , Kim S , Shin JH .
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Changwon Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Changwon, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Stool cultures are essential for diagnosing bacterial gastrointestinal infections. Laboratory procedures and target organisms for stool culture testing can vary by institute. Therefore, a nationwide survey was conducted to determine the stool culture procedures performed in clinical laboratories of Korea. METHODS: Questionnaires were delivered by electronic mail to 98 clinical microbiologists and by Google survey to the 301 institutes participating in the Korean External Quality Control Program of Bacterial Cultures. RESULTS: Of the 68 institutes sent complete responses, Gram staining and wet smears were performed in 73.5% and 64.7%, respectively. A molecular test was conducted in 32.4% of laboratories, and blood agar plates were used in 23.5%. Staphylococcus aureus , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , and Candida species were reported for predominant growth by 17.6%, 8.8%, and 7.4% of the respondents, respectively. Campylobacter culture was available only in 25.0% of laboratories, whereas Clostridium difficile could be cultivated in 38.2%. Susceptibility testing results of Salmonella-Shigella were reported for all tested antibiotics in 22.1% of laboratories, whereas 69.1% reported results for antibiotics specified by the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: Methods and results of gram staining, wet smears, use of stool culture media, target microorganisms, and antibiotic susceptibility differed among the institutes. Further discussion is needed to develop a standardized protocol for stool culture to maximize isolation of bacterial pathogens that cause gastroenteritis.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.