Gastrointestinal (GI) Pathogen Testing

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Discover how Genesis Molecular Diagnostics provides thorough gastrointestinal pathogen testing.

Gastrointestinal (GI) pathogen testing is performed to determine if what's causing your digestive symptoms is related to some type of disease-causing (pathogenic) virus, bacteria, or parasite. The tests performed at our lab will allow for the identification of the correct pathogen. Rapid identification is necessary to decrease risks linked to digestive infections that may:

  • Cause potentially serious health problems
  • Result in the unintentional spreading of infections to others

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When it’s Recommended

Gastrointestinal (GI) pathogen testing is usually recommended if you have signs or symptoms suggesting that something that may be going on with your digestive system or GI tract. GI infections sometimes develop as a result of recent travel outside of the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of people who travel outside of the U.S. will be affected by a GI infection.

If you are not responding well to over-the-counter medications or other treatments suggested by your doctor for digestive issues, testing may be necessary to figure out what's going on and causing your discomfort. Symptoms that could suggest a virus, parasite, or bacteria is involved include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Severe or frequent abdominal cramps
  • Blood or mucus in stools
  • Loose stools
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What the Test Involves

A fresh stool sample will be collected and placed in a clean, secure container. The sample will then be tested to look for pathogens or identify the correct pathogen so treatment can begin as quickly as possible after the results are delivered. Additional testing, such as a stool culture, may be necessary if a less-common pathogen is causing your infection.

What is Tested

There are several viruses, bacteria, and parasites that may contribute to or cause problems within your digestive system and its related parts. Lab technicians can check for the presence of multiple disease-causing microbes in a stool sample that was provided by you or sent to our lab by your physician.

Your doctor may have a general idea of what's causing your digestive issues based on your medical history and when the symptoms first appeared and order testing to confirm it. Parasitic digestive infections aren't as common as viral and bacterial ones, although testing will be done to identify anything out of the ordinary.

Our Approach to GI Pathogen Testing

We test for 22 viruses, parasites, and viruses that may cause an infection in the gastrointestinal tract. There is no preparation necessary for GI pathogen testing and no precise measuring or pipetting (collection/transport of liquid samples) is required. Because testing is done at our laboratory, results can usually be delivered quickly.

If your doctor has ordered a gastrointestinal pathogens panel or a related test, Genesis Molecular Diagnostics will provide thorough results your physician can use to make well-informed decisions about your health, including treatments that may be appropriate based on what was seen in the results. All tests are conducted at our lab by trained, experienced technicians. We provide confidential results and reports that can be viewed online.