The Dried Filter Paper Technique for Sending Stool Specimens to a Laboratory for Bacteriologic Examination

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  • Dept. Parasitology and General Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Djakarta, Indonesia

Sending stool specimens to a distant laboratory for bacteriologic identification has always been unsatisfactory. The dried filter paper technique has proved to be an efficient, simple and cheap solution of the problem.


On a clean piece of filter paper 6 to 10 drops of stool are placed and dried at room temperature. For dysenteric stools the mucous parts are selected. A firm stool should be mixed with water to make it semiliquid before dropping it on the filter paper. To obtain satisfactory results the following procedure should be performed:

  1. 1.The stool should be dried as soon as possible after defecation.
  2. 2.It is essential to dry thick fecal drops; thin drops are unsatisfactory. To reduce the drying period to not more than three hours thick drops should be made having a diameter of about 0.5 cm. consisting of about 0.2 cc. of mucus or stool. The drops should be separated about 5 cm. from each other to allow the moisture to be absorbed by the surrounding paper.