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To identify procedures employed by publicly funded clinical diagnostic laboratories in the United Kingdom (UK) for the detection of Cryptosporidium in community cases of diarrhoea, a telephone survey was conducted between August 2008 and January 2009 of all such laboratories that test stools from community-based patients. All 200 laboratories responded: 145 (72.5%) tested all stool samples for Cryptosporidium, while 55 (27.5%) applied selection criteria. There were country and regional differences in the proportion of laboratories selectively testing stools, which were significantly correlated with Cryptosporidium report rates to national surveillance (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs)=0.61, degrees of freedom (df)=11, p=0.03). Understanding of laboratory practice is fundamental to interpreting trends in surveillance data, estimating disease burden and identifying outbreaks, as well as providing important background information against which changes and effects of new public health regulations can be measured. .


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