Lab Test

Stain, Cyclospora

C. cayetanensis, Cyclospora Stain

Test Codes





At least 2 weeks should elapse following barium administration before collection of the specimen.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Random stool specimen placed in a transport vial with SAF preservative.

  • Fill the vial until the fluid level reaches the red fill line.
  • Unpreserved stool must be placed in SAF within 1 hour of collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens in SAF preservative at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Stool in SAF preservative, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Solid or formed specimens.
  • Rectal swabs.
  • Specimens in leaking or soiled containers.
  • Specimens containing oil or urine.
  • Specimens that contain toilet water.
  • Specimens received in diapers.
  • Specimens collected within 7 days of the patient taking a laxative.
  • Specimens collected following a soap suds enema.
  • Stools containing barium from a previous radiological procedure.
  • Specimens collected within 14 days following antibiotics.
  • Unpreserved stool greater than 1 hour past collection.
  • Specimens in PVA.
  • Frozen specimens.
  • Testing will not be performed on more than one specimen collected per patient within a 24-hour period.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 1 hour (Unpreserved)
Room Temperature (20-25°C or 68-77°F): 7 days (Preserved)
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days (Preserved)
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 7 days


Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory
Taylor, Trenton and Wayne sent to Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory for testing.

Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Troy sent to Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory for testing.


Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Results available within 24 hours.

Reference Range

No Cyclospora seen.

Test Methodology

Concentration, stain, microscopic examination.


Cyclospora spp. are abundant in the stool of infected individuals.

Clinical Utility

This assay aids in the diagnosis of cyclosporiasis.

Clinical Disease

Organisms in stool previously named blue-green algae (cyanobacteriumlike bodies) or "large Cryptosporidium" have recently been identified as belonging to the coccidian genus Cyclospora. Infection with Cyclospora spp. is primarily seen in HIV-infected individuals and in immunocompetent adults and children. The most common characteristic of infection with this organism is prolonged, often relapsing, watery, non-bloody diarrhea that is frequently associated with weight loss. In some cases, bloating, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, crampy abdominal pain, and fever also occur. The mean duration of diarrhea has ranged from 19 to 43 days (1). Symptoms are more severe in AIDS patients, lasting up to 70 days (2).


Infection is frequently linked to contaminated water and occurs worldwide (1). Outbreaks in 1996 and 1997 were associated with imported berries, basil, and baby lettuce. Most cases were reported in April – August (2).


    1. Novak-Weekley, S., and A.L. Leber,. 2015. Cystoisospora, Cyclospora, and Sarcocystis, Jorgensen, J.H., et. al. (eds.), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 11th ed. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.

      CPT Codes

      87207, 87015.


      Last Updated


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