Gastrointestinal Pathogen Multiplex Panel

Effective July 31, 2017 the new Gastrointestinal Pathogen Multiplex Panel (GPMP) will replace the number of routine tests currently uses for the diagnosis of infectious diarrhea.

Diarrheal diseases may be caused by a wide variety of pathogens which makes laboratory diagnosis difficult and time consuming. 

Now Island Health Laboratories has validated a new molecular multiplex PCR assay that simultaneously detects and identifies 15 of the most common bacteria, viral and parasitic pathogens responsible for diarrhea.  The following 15 targets are detected in this 5 hour test:


Bacteria & Bacterial Toxins


Adenovirus 40/41

Rotavirus A Norovirus GI/GII

Clostridium difficile, Toxin

A/B Salmonella Shigella Campylobacter

Escherichia coli 0157

Enterotoxigenic E. coli


Yersinia enterocolitica

Vibrio cholera

Shiga-like Toxin producing

E.coli (STEC) stx1/stx2

Giardia lamblia


Entamoeba histolytica

If a sample tests positive for a bacterial pathogen that requires further identification or susceptibility testing it will be submitted for the appropriate culture and testing.

If a sample tests negative for all 15 targets then a selective culture for other less commonly encountered bacterial pathogens (Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, Yersina, Edwardsiella, and Vibrio parahemolyticus) will be performed. The new test will give faster more accurate and comprehensive results at a lower cost.

As the new test includes 3 of the more important parasitic pathogens in the region it effectively replaces the labour intensive and low yielding stool microscopy for ova and parasites (stool for O&P).

Similar to use in other jurisdictions a microscopic stool for O&P exam will still be performed if requested and a relevant history is provided:

  • Children < 13 years  of age
  • Travellers
  • Immunocompromised
  • Suspected worm infection

Request a GPMP:

Please Note: The current outpatient requisition is subject to a provincial mandate and will not be changing to accommodate the introduction of this new test in Island Health.

You can request GPMP test in the “Other Tests” box near the bottom of the requisition. Requests for stool: culture, O&P exam, C difficile testing or virus investigation will be switched to the new GPMP test. As noted above, the only exception will be when a stool O &P is requested and a relevant history has been provided, only then will a full microscopic exam be performed.

For GPMP testing, a stool sample in Enteric Pathogen Media is preferred.

Thanks for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions please contact the medical microbiologist on-call through the Royal Jubilee Hospital switchboard at 250-370-8000