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Lab Test

Culture - Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile, often referred to as C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause infections in the intestines. The infection can range from mild to severe and is typically marked by diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. C. difficile infections are usually associated with recent antibiotic use, which disrupts the normal balance of bacteria in the gut, allowing C. difficile to thrive.

  • Test Name Culture - Clostridium difficile
  • Sample Type Stool
  • Preparations Required No special preparation is needed, but it is important to not contaminate the sample with urine .
  • Report Time 10 days

Culture for Clostridium difficile is a laboratory test that involves analyzing a stool sample to detect the presence of the bacteria. This test is critical in diagnosing C. difficile infections, which are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. It's important to detect and treat C. difficile infections promptly as severe infections can lead to life-threatening complications.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

Culture for Clostridium difficile is a diagnostic test that involves analyzing a stool sample to detect the presence of C. difficile bacteria, which can cause infections in the intestines.

This test is ordered if a patient has symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever, especially if the patient has recently taken antibiotics or has been in a healthcare setting.

A stool sample is needed for this test. You will be given a special container to collect the stool sample. It is important to not contaminate the sample with urine or toilet paper.

The results are usually available within 24 to 48 hours.

If C. difficile is found in the stool sample, it means you have an infection. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and decide on the appropriate treatment.

Treatment usually involves antibiotics that are effective against C. difficile. In some cases, probiotics may also be recommended to help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Yes, C. difficile infections can be very contagious. The bacteria can spread through spores that can survive on surfaces for a long time. It is important to practice good hand hygiene and follow infection control measures in healthcare settings.

Reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics, practicing good hand hygiene, and cleaning surfaces regularly can help in preventing C. difficile infections.

Yes, individuals who have recently taken antibiotics, the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, and individuals in healthcare settings are more at risk.

Severe cases of C. difficile infection can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, and a life-threatening inflammation of the colon called toxic megacolon.

If you test positive for a C. difficile infection, it's important to consult an infectious disease specialist or your primary care doctor for appropriate treatment.

If left untreated, C. difficile infection can lead to serious complications, including severe dehydration, kidney failure, and toxic megacolon, which can be life-threatening.

The antibiotics used to treat C. difficile infections can have side effects, including nausea, a change in taste, and an allergic reaction in rare cases. It's important to discuss any concerns with your doctor.

Yes, it is possible to get a C. difficile infection more than once. In fact, recurrent infections are common.

Yes, some individuals can carry the bacteria in their intestines without showing symptoms, known as being asymptomatic carriers. However, they can still spread the bacteria.

Culture for Clostridium difficile is a crucial test for identifying and treating infections caused by these bacteria. Early detection and treatment are vital to prevent complications. If you are experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, especially after taking antibiotics or being in a healthcare setting, it is important to consult a doctor. The doctor may advise this test, and based on the results, the appropriate treatment can be initiated. Maintaining proper hygiene, especially in healthcare settings, and being judicious with antibiotic use are crucial steps in preventing C. difficile infections.

Culture - Clostridium difficile
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