Test for Pathogens: GI-Map

The Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory GI Microbial Assay Plus (“GI-MAP”) looks for the presence of pathogens – including H Pylori and other bacteria, parasites, and viruses – in the gastrointestinal tract.

MARKERS INCLUDED ON THIS TEST:

  • Bacterial Pathogens (Campylobacter, C difficile Toxin A & B, E coli 0157, Salmonella, Shiga-like Toxins, Shigella, etc.)
  • Parasitic Pathogens (Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia)
  • Viral Pathogens (Adenovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus)
  • H pylori (H Pylori, cagA, vacA)
  • Normal Bacterial Flora (Bifidobacter, Enterococcus, E. coli, Lactobacillus)
  • Opportunistic Bacteria (Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Proteus, Yersinia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, etc)
  • Parasites (Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis, Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, Chilomastix mesnelli, etc.)
  • Fungi/Yeast (Candida albicans, Candida spp., Geotricum spp., Microsporidia spp., Trichosporon spp.)
  • Additional Tests (SIgA, Anti-Gliadin, Elastase, Lactoferrin, Occult Blood)
  • Antibiotic Resistance Genes

To detect pathogens, the lab uses PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology to detect the DNA of microorganisms.

TEST DETAILS:

Test Type: Stool (1-day single specimen collection)

Shipping

  • Within the U.S. or Canada, use the FedEx shipping bag enclosed in the test kit and drop the package off at a FedEx office or call FedEx for a free pick-up.
  • Outside of U.S. or Canada, inquire with orders@fdninc.com for shipping details.

Cost

  • Pre-pay cash price is $359 for U.S. clients.
  • Insurance is an option with this test. If using the insurance option, you must include a $179 deposit along with a copy of your insurance card when sending in the specimen. If your insurance company covers the cost of the test, the $179 deposit will be refunded.
  • If your insurance does not cover the cost of the test, you will be mailed an invoice. The invoice amount may be greater than the cash pay price ($359). If this is the case, contact DSL using the number on the invoice and request a “Prompt Pay” discount which will be the cash pay price ($359) minus the original deposit.
  • Pre-pay cash price is $379 for Canada.
  • Price for clients outside of U.S. or Canada is £275 (approx $390) plus shipping.

Additional info:

You must complete all highlighted sections of the Test Requisition Form and include a copy of the front and back of the insurance card.

Do not add diagnostic codes to the form unless approved by FDN (please ask me about this – my phone and email are at the top of every page).

The lab recommends refrigerating the specimen if it will not be shipped the same or next day.

The lab must receive the sample within 6 days of collection (for the SIgA result to be valid). The DNA for the pathogens part of the panel is stable for up to 2 weeks, however.

You do NOT need to be off anti-microbials (antibiotics or herbal supplements) prior to collecting the stool sample (unlike other pathogen tests).

You should AVOID taking aspirin for 2 days prior to collecting the sample.

An H. pylori-only re-test is available (“H Pylori Profile”) The pre-pay cash price for the re-test is $109; Insurance billing deposit is $49. (Please ask me why this might be necessary.)

Lab processing/shipping of kits is 1 week, the turn-around time to receive the results back is 21 business days from when the lab receives the samples

Advantages of this test:

The GI-MAP is the first FDA-approved DNA/PCR assay for GI pathogens, making the results more widely accepted.

PCR technology provides the ability to identify bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi regardless of their viability in the sample.

Stool cultures grow only aerobic bacteria but 95% of the bacteria in the digestive system are anaerobic, including the pathogens. It is not possible to measure strict anaerobes, viruses, or virulence factors with a culture based test. Parasites need to be in high numbers to be detected by microscopy, so there are times when O&P (Ova & Parasite) testing may miss pathogens that might be detected by PCR.

It tests for H pylori and identifies if the H pylori is one of the more virulent strains (cagA or vacA) which has been associated with ulcers and gastric cancer.

DNA/PCR assays are superior at detecting Giardia and E histo, as very low amounts of these parasites are typically shed in the stool.

DNA/PCR assays are far more sensitive in picking up Candida than culture based stool tests.

In addition to looking for pathogens, this test panel contains several additional markers which can provide invaluable insight into gut immunity (SIgA), gut inflammation (lactoferrin), pancreatic enzyme sufficiency (elastase), and gluten sensitivity (anti-gliadin).
This panel is more comprehensive (contains a lot more markers) than the DRG Lab “GI Pathogens Plus” (another DNA/PCR stool test).

Disadvantages of this test: at this time, the GI-Map does not test for Iodamoeba butschlii. This is a parasite that can sometimes be found on another test that we offer… but this other test will not find many of the pathogens found on the GI-Map.

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