Stool C Difficile Toxin Test

The stool C difficile toxin test detects damaging substances produced by the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C difficile). This infection is a common reason for diarrhea after antibiotic use. This test also known as Antibiotic associated colitis – toxin; Colitis – toxin; Pseudomembranous – toxin; Necrotizing colitis – toxin; C difficile – toxin.

How Stool C Difficile Toxin Test is Performed

A stool sample is required. It is sent to a lab to be evaluated. There are numerous methods to spot C difficile toxin in the stool sample.

Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is most often used to discover substances produced by the bacteria. This test is quicker than older tests, and easier to carry out. The outcomes are prepared in a few hours. Nevertheless, it is somewhat less sensitive than earlier techniques. Several stool samples may be needed to get a precise result.

A newer approach is to use PCR to spot the toxin genes. This is the most delicate and specific test. Results are all set within 1 hour. Only one stool sample is needed.

Some people bring the germs C. difficile in their intestinal tracts but never ever become ill, though they might still spread the infection. Symptoms and signs typically establish within five to 10 days after starting a course of antibiotics, but may happen as soon as the first day or approximately two months later.

How to Prepare for the Test and How Much Stool Is Needed for C Diff Test

There are many ways to collect the samples.

  • You can catch the stool on cling wrap that is loosely positioned over the toilet bowl and kept in place by the toilet seat. Then you put the sample in a tidy container.
  • A test kit is readily available that supplies a special bathroom tissue that you use to collect the sample. After gathering the sample, you put it in a container.
  • About stool quantity: single sample used, need to not be formed / should take the shape of the container, no repeat test within 60 days if positive.

Do not mix urine, water, or bathroom tissue with the sample.

For children using diapers:

  • Line the diaper with plastic wrap.
  • Position the plastic wrap so that it will avoid urine and stool from blending. This will provide a better sample.

Why the Test is Performed

You might have this test if your health care service provider thinks that diarrhea is brought on by the antibiotic medications you have actually taken recently. Antibiotics change the balance of bacteria in the colon. This often results in too much development of C difficile.

Diarrhea brought on by C difficile after antibiotic use typically takes place in individuals who remain in the hospital. It also can occur in individuals who have not just recently taken antibiotics. This condition is called pseudomembranous colitis.

Normal Results for C Diff Toxin

No C difficile toxin is discovered.

Keep in mind: Normal value ranges might differ somewhat among various labs. Speak to your service provider about the significance of your specific test outcomes.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results mean that contaminants produced by C difficile are seen in the stool and are triggering diarrhea.


There are no dangers connected with testing for C difficile toxin.

A number of stool samples might be needed to spot the condition. This is especially true if the older EIA for toxin test is used.

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