Font Size

E. coli: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, E. coli 0157:H7 (cont.)

How is E. coli 0157:H7 diagnosed?

The diagnosis is usually made by an accurate history, physical exam, and analysis of the fecal sample. A presumptive diagnosis is made if the patient's history indicates an association with persons, foods, or fluids known to contain E. coli 0157:H7. Such a presumptive diagnosis is often made during outbreaks of the disease.

Culture of E. coli 0157:H7 from a fecal specimen on selective media (sorbitol-MacConkey agar) gives a definitive diagnosis of the infection when clear-appearing colonies react with 0157 antiserum. Other tests include PCR and immunofluorescence tests. The CDC has recommended that all patients being evaluated for community-acquired diarrhea should have their stool samples analyzed by immunologic test systems that detect all types of Shiga toxins as this test will likely detect almost all bacteria that produce Shiga toxins, especially the E. coli 0157:H7 strains. The CDC suggests that this test is even better than bacterial culture techniques, but recommend that both culture and immunologic tests should be done at the same time.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to E. coli: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, E. coli 0157:H7

Acute Kidney Failure
Acute Kidney Failure Kidney failure, or the ability of the kidneys to filter water and waste is caused by prerenal, postrenal, or renal problems with the kidney(s). Symptoms of kidn...learn more >>
Antibiotics Antibiotics are prescribed to individuals to ...learn more >>
Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease Twenty percent of people over the age of 20 years will develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetime. Chronic learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about E. coli (Escherichia coli 0157:H7) Infection:

E. Coli Infection- Treatment

What was the treatment for your e. coli infection?

E. coli Infection - Experience

Please share your experience with E. coli infection.

E. Coli Infection - Symptoms

What were your symptoms of E. coli infection?

Medical Dictionary