Test Catalog

Test ID: VIBC    
Vibrio Culture, Feces

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

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

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

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

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

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.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

No growth of pathogen

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

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

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

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 Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

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