Gastroenteritis (gastro) is an inflammation of the wall of the stomach and intestine that mainly causes diarrhea. Most infectious gastroenteritis is viral, contagious and of short duration. The microorganisms most frequently involved are:
- Viral gastroenteritis: Norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, etc.
- Bacterial gastroenteritis: Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, Enterotoxic Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, etc.
- Parasitic gastroenteritis: Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Cyclosp͕ora, Entamobea, etc.
Diarrhea (more frequent release of soft or watery stools) is usually of short duration (2 to 3 days). Other typical symptoms of gastroenteritis are loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, sometimes mild fever, headache and fatigue. The main complication of acute diarrhea is dehydration with loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine and bicarbonate). The medical diagnosis of gastroenteritis is based on case history (exposure to potentially contaminated food, travel, local gastroenteritis outbreak, taking drugs known to irritate the intestine, etc.) In the case of persistent, chronic or treatment-resistant gastroenteritis, identification of the responsible microorganism by microbiological stool analysis is necessary to find the appropriate treatment.
Microbiological stool analysis by PCR to facilitate the diagnosis of gastrointestinal infections*.
- A single stool sample, compared to up to 4 samples with traditional techniques.
- Results available in 24 hours compared to 10 working days with traditional techniques.
- Eliminates trial and error and the cost of additional testing and travel.
- Avoids unnecessary antibiotic use.
- Costs reimbursed by most insurers.
*A doctor's prescription is required.