OverviewA rectal culture test is performed by inserting a cotton swab in the rectum. The swab is rotated gently, and withdrawn. A smear of the swab is placed in culture media to encourage the growth of microorganisms. The test is performed to isolate and identify organisms in the rectum that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and/or disease.
Update Date 5/15/2014
Updated by: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.