Brief Description

The MSPHL will confirm known, or suspect, isolates that cause diseases and conditions which are delegated reportable in Missouri. Isolates or screened positive specimens pertaining to these conditions must be submitted to the MSPHL for epidemiological or confirmation purposes. Refer to page 11-12 within 19 CSR 20-20.080 “Duties of Laboratories” for a list of those pathogens that are included.

Laboratory Unit



Identification of Shigella to the species and type level. Identification of Salmonella serotypes by cell wall and flagellar antigen identification and biochemicals if needed. Identification of E. coli O157:H7 and O grouping (cell wall antigen) of the 6 most common non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains.

Specimen Collection

Kits can be ordered from the MSPHL.  Collection kit includes a double wall mailer with a label.   Specimen submission forms can be printed from this website.

Patient Instructions for Submitting Enteric Specimens

Patient Instructions for Submitting Enteric
Specimens (Spanish)


Please transport the cultures in the proper double wall mailer.

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Acceptable specimens for Enteric Bacteriology are inoculated culture slants, raw stool specimens and Shiga toxin-positive enrichment broths. Only pure culture isolates will be accepted and the MSPHL does not accept isolates on culture plates. Raw stool specimens will only be accepted from city or county health departments, unless there are special circumstances and previous approval has been obtained.

Test Request Form(s)

Possible Results

Identification to the genus, species, and serotype level.

Unacceptable Conditions

The following will result in a specimen discarded without testing and the submitter notified:

Specimen is not labeled with the patient name or identifier

No growth on any of the media that is used for testing the specimen

Specimen is mixed

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

Most cultures can be reported the day after they are received; however, some cultures could take as long as three days to report. Raw stool specimens can be reported anywhere from two to four days after being received.



CPT Codes




Additional Information

Many additional tests are available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Authorization must be made through the State Public Health Laboratory prior to submission of specimens. These additional tests include, but are not limited to, sensitivity testing. More information is available on request.

Assistance in Bacterial Outbreak Situations

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the State Public Health Laboratory are available to assist in bacterial outbreak situations. Additional tests that may not be routinely offered may be made available during special circumstances, relating to public health concerns. This may include gastrointestinal outbreaks/foodborne outbreaks of more unusual pathogens.