When a child has an issue with the stomach, intestines, or any component of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, a stool (faeces) sample may provide doctors with important details. A stool culture allows the doctor to determine whether or not the patient has a bacterial infection in the intestines.
A technician places small stool samples in sterile plastic dishes containing nutrients that promote the growth of specific bacteria. The bacteria that are being targeted can only develop if they are already present in the stool sample. When bacterial colonies grow, the technician uses a microscope and chemical tests to classify the organism.