Stool Master Mixes

Fecal matter is a highly complex, heterogenous material that contains substances which can interfere with PCR such as food debris, desquamated epithelial cells and mucus, and PCR inhibitors including bile salts, polysaccharides, hematin and catabolic substances. Generally, stool samples must undergo substantial processing to extract the DNA or RNA prior to testing in order to avoid PCR inhibition. 

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Effective Stool Master Mixes for PCR and Isothermal Amplification

Meridian’s direct stool master mixes are designed to specifically overcome the inhibitors found in stool samples. As a result, they are capable of highly sensitive detection in multiplex assays, either using extracted DNA or RNA or crudely processed samples. No further optimization is required aside from the addition of primers and probes. 

  • Ultra-sensitive detection down to less than 10 copies of DNA or RNA using direct amplification protocols.
  • Inhibitor-tolerant to PCR inhibitors found in human stool (10%), bile salt (2mg/mL) and Cary-Blair transport media (40%)
  • Can be used in a liquid or dry format, reducing the cost and complexity of creating ambient-temperature stable assays. 

Meridian offers ready to use stool, 4x concentrated, glycerol-free master mixes for PCR and isothermal amplification, that have been formulated for direct use with crude lysates that can be used in a wet format or lyophilized and air-dried to create fast, ultra-sensitive ambient-temperature stable assays.


Stool tests can allow identification of enteric pathogens such as harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites down to the genus or species level, fast and accurately in a few hours, rather than the culture-based stool testing that can take several days. They can also be used as a non-invasive method for screening autoimmune conditions and cancer.

The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) has been the most widely used gastrointestinal immunoassay to screen colorectal cancer (CRC) for over three decades, however, recent large-scale studies have shown that the FOBT lacks the sensitivity to detect early stages of CRC. A molecular cancer stool test is a better diagnostic tool as it offers significant improvement in sensitivity and accuracy and can be used to screen for multiple targets and so speed up diagnosis, therefore improving prognosis.

With Meridian’s direct stool master mixes, you can see down to less than 10 copies.

There are several buffers on the market that can be used for stool testing, they include phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), Cary-Blair Medium, Stool Transport and Recovery (STAR) buffer and DNA/RNA Shield.

Pre-treatment will depend on what you are looking at, cfDNA may not need pre-treatment, but you may need to heat to 95°C for 5 min and for some bacteria, a Proteinase K step (Proteinase K 55°C for 15 min and then at 98°C for 5 min) or using a non-ionic detergent (such as Tween-20 to final concentration of 0.2% followed by incubation at room temperature for 10 min) may be necessary.

We do not see a performance difference between the two master mixes.

They are compatible with standard cycling conditions and can also be used with very fast cycling conditions, however some assay development may be required for the volume of urine that is needed for a molecular assay.

It is stable for up to 2 years at ambient temperature if correctly stored in sealed pouches.

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