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Test ID VIBC Vibrio Culture, Feces

Reporting Name

Vibrio Culture, Stool

Useful For

Determining whether Vibrio species may be the cause of diarrhea


This test is generally not useful for patients that have been hospitalized for more than 3 days because the yield from these patients' specimens is very low, as is the likelihood of identifying a pathogen that has not been detected previously

Specimen Type


Additional Testing Requirements

1. If susceptibility testing is desired, also order ZMMLS / Antimicrobial Susceptibility, Aerobic Bacteria, MIC, Varies. If susceptibility testing is not needed (eg, due to lack of recovery of Vibrio species from feces), ZMMLS will not be performed and the order will be canceled.

2. In some cases, local public health requirements may impact Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL) clients, requiring submission of isolates to public health laboratories. Clients should familiarize themselves with local requirements and are responsible for submitting isolates to appropriate public health laboratories. Clients can obtain isolates of Vibrio species recovered from specimens submitted to MCL by calling 800-533-1710 as soon as possible after reporting to ensure viability of the bacterium.

Shipping Instructions

Specimen must arrive within 96 hours of collection.

Necessary Information

Specimen source is required.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation: Medications: Do not use barium or bismuth before collection of specimen.

Supplies: Culture and Sensitivity Stool Transport Vial (T058)

Specimen Type: Preserved feces

Container/Tube: Commercially available transport system specific for recovery of enteric pathogens from fecal specimens (15 mL of non-nutritive transport medium containing phenol red as a pH indicator, either Cary-Blair or Para-Pak C and S)

Specimen Volume: Representative portion of fecal specimen

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect fresh feces and submit 1 gram or 5 mL in container with transport medium.

2. Place feces in preservative within 2 hours of collection.

3. Place vial in a sealed plastic bag.

Specimen Minimum Volume

1 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Fecal Ambient (preferred) 4 days
  Refrigerated  4 days

Reference Values

No growth of pathogen

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information

87046-Vibrio culture, stool

87077-Identification by MALDI-TOF mass spec (if appropriate)

87077-Additional Identification Procedure (if appropriate)

87077-Bacteria Identification (if appropriate)

87153-Aerobe Ident by Sequencing (if appropriate)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
VIBC Vibrio Culture, Stool 6579-7


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
VIBC Vibrio Culture, Stool 6579-7

Clinical Information

Diarrhea may be caused by a number of agents (eg, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals), and infection with or exposure to one of these agents may result in similar symptoms. A thorough patient history covering symptoms, severity and duration of illness, age, travel history, food consumption, history of recent antibiotic use, and illnesses in the family or other contacts will help the physician determine the appropriate testing to be performed.


Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of endemic, epidemic, and pandemic cholera, results in large volumes of rice-water stools due to the production of an enterotoxin. Severe dehydration is of concern in patients without access to adequate medical care. In the United States, Vibrio parahemolyticus is the most common cause of Vibrio disease. V parahemolyticus is associated with the consumption of raw shellfish or fish and results in gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, low-grade fever, and chills. Usually rehydration is the only treatment required, although in some cases, antimicrobial therapy is needed.


The growth of Vibrio species identifies a potential cause of diarrhea.


The yield of Vibrio species is reduced when specimens are delayed in transit to the laboratory (>2 hours from collection for unpreserved specimen).


Buffered glycerol saline is an unacceptable transport media for Vibrio culture.


Check your local public health requirements, which may require submission of isolates to a public health laboratory.

Clinical Reference

1. Pillai DR: Fecal culture for aerobic pathogens of gastroenteritis. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth edition. Washington, DC, ASM Press, 2016, Section 3.8.1

2. Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R: Principle's and Practice of Infectious Disease. Sixth edition. Philadelphia, Elsevier Inc. 2005, pp 2536-2548

Method Description

The fecal specimen is inoculated onto selective media, thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose agar (TCBS), designed to inhibit growth of normal bowel flora while allowing growth of Vibrio species. After incubation, suspect colonies are identified using 1 or a combination of the following techniques: matrix-associated laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, conventional biochemical tests, carbon source utilization, and nucleic acid sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene.(Tarr CL, Glover WAII, Boucher Y, et al: Chapter 43: Vibrio and Related Organisms. In Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 12th edition. Edited by KC Carroll, MA Pfaller. Washington DC,ASM Press, 2019, pp 775-786)

Report Available

3 to 5 days

Reject Due To

Fecal swab Feces in Ecofix (green cap) Specimen in buffered glycerol saline transport media Reject

Method Name

Conventional Culture

Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
RMALD Ident by MALDI-TOF mass spec No, (Bill Only) No
GID Bacteria Identification No, (Bill Only) No
ISAE Aerobe Ident by Sequencing No, (Bill Only) No
REFID Additional Identification Procedure No, (Bill Only) No

Testing Algorithm

When this test is ordered, the reflex tests may be performed and charged separately.


This test provides evidence of the presence of the bacterium, Vibrio species, in feces, in a viable state, and provides an isolate for antibacterial susceptibility testing and, if needed, submission to a health department. Minnesota health care providers are required to report all confirmed or suspected cases of Vibrio bacteriosis to the Minnesota Department of Health. Clients should refer to their local health departments regarding public health submission of Vibrio isolates.