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Test ID: CYCL Cyclospora Stain, Feces

Reporting Name

Cyclospora Stain

Useful For

The identification of Cyclospora cayetanensis as a cause of infectious gastroenteritis

Clinical Information

Cyclospora cayetanensis is an apicomplexan protozoan parasite that causes watery diarrhea, anorexia, malaise, and weight loss. The extent of symptoms depends on the age and condition of the host and the infectious dose. The infection is usually self-limited, but symptoms can be severe and prolonged, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Cyclosporal diarrheal disease is endemic in many parts of the world, including Asia, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Although most cases of cyclosporiasis have been seen in travelers to developing countries, outbreaks in the United States have been noted due to contaminated fruits and vegetables from Latin America. Transmission is via fecally contaminated food or water. If untreated, symptoms typically last for 10 to 12 weeks, and may follow a relapsing course. The infection usually responds to treatment with a sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim drug combination.


Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts are traditionally detected by modified acid-fast staining, in which the oocysts stain bright pink-red. However, the modified safranin stain has been shown to provide increased sensitivity over modified acid-fast method and produces a more rapid result. It is the method used in our laboratory to detect Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in fecal sediment.


See Laboratory Testing for Infectious Causes of Diarrhea and Parasitic Investigation of Stool Specimens Algorithm for other diagnostic tests that may be of value in evaluating patients with diarrhea.


A report of Cyclospora cayetanensis detected indicates the presence of this parasite in the patient's feces.

Report Available

2 to 4 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Saturday

Clinical Reference

1. Chacin-Bonilla L: Epidemiology of Cyclospora cayetanensis: A review focusing in endemic areas. Acta Trop 2010;115(3):181-193

2. Ortega YR, Sanchez R: Update on Cyclospora cayetanensis, a food-borne and waterborne parasite. Clin Microbiol Rev 2010;23(1):218-234

Method Name

Safranin Stain

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Patient Preparation: Patient should avoid use of antidiarrheal medication (ie, loperamide or Pepto-Bismol).

The presence of barium will interfere with this test.



-ECOFIX Stool Transport Vial (Kit) (T219)

-Formalin-Meridian 10% Buffered Neutral (T466)

-Stool container, Small (Random), 4 oz (T288)

-Sodium Acetate Formalin (SAF)

-Stool Collection Kit, Random (T635)


Submit only 1 of the following specimens:



Specimen Type: Preserved stool

Preferred: ECOFIX Stool Transport Vial (Kit) (T219)

Acceptable: 10% Buffered Formalin Stool Transport (Kit) (T466), Sodium Acetate Formalin (SAF)

Specimen Volume: 10 g

Specimen Stability Information: Ambient 21 days (preferred)/Refrigerated 21 days


Specimen Type: Unpreserved stool

Container/Tube: Stool container (T288)

Specimen Volume: 5 g

Specimen Stability Information: Refrigerated 3 days (preferred)

Specimen Minimum Volume

Preserved stool: 1 g
Unpreserved stool: 2 g

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Fecal Varies

Reference Values


If positive, reported as Cyclospora cayetanensis detected.

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information



LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
CYCL Cyclospora Stain 50313-6


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
CYCL Cyclospora Stain 50313-6

Testing Algorithm

For other diagnostic tests that may be of value in evaluating patients with diarrhea; the following algorithms are available in Special Instructions:

-Laboratory Testing for Infectious Causes of Diarrhea

-Parasitic Investigation of Stool Specimens Algorithm


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send 1 of the following forms with the specimen:

-Microbiology Test Request (T244)

-Gastroenterology and Hepatology Client Test Request (T728)

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Microbiology and Infectious Disease Catalog Additional Information: