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Urine culture and sensitivity

About This Test

Department: Microbiology, Virology and Molecular Microbiology


Specimen types and collection instructions

MSU is the most appropriate specimen type for diagnosis of a UTI

See other comments for list of samples types and collection



Turnaround Time:

Cell count usually same day, 1-3 days for culture

Detection of pathogens causing urinary tract infection

Other Comments:

Where possible, please use the green monovettes containing boric acid for routine culture and sensitivity

MSU and clean catch urines are the most commonly collected specimens and are recommended for routine use. Discard first part of voided urine and without stopping the flow, collect approximately 10ml inot a CE marked leakproof container. Discard remining urine.

Suprapubic aspirate (SPA) is seen as the "gold standard" but is usually reserved for clarification of equivocal results from voided urine in infants and small children. Before SPA is attempted it is preferable to use ultrasound guidance to determine the presence of urine in the bladder.

Catheter urines: samples may be collected from 'in/out' catheterization or from an indwelling catheter. For indwelling catheter obtain sample aseptically from the sample port in the cathter tubing or by aseptic aspiration of the tubing. Do not take sample from the bag.

Bag urine may be used for infants under 6 months of age. Tape sterile bag over freshly cleaned and dried genitia. Transfer to leakproof CE marked container. Only bag urines form infants under 6 months will be processed. Please note a positive result from may occur due to contamination of the sample.

Pad urines may be sent from infants under 6 months old. After washing the nappy area, place pad inside nappy. As soon as pad is wet with urien (but no faecal soiling) push the tip of the syringe inot the pad and draw urine up. Transfer to leakproof CE marked container. Only pad urines form infants under 6 months will be processed. Please note a positive result from may occur due to contamination of the sample.

Other sample types: ileal conduit, urostomy, cystoscopy.

Fill boric acid containers (red top) to the mark,secure top and mix well.


Collection container (including preservatives): Boric acid CE marked leak proof containers. Transport specimens in sealed plastic bags

Special instructions - Relevant clinical data and details of recent or current antimicrobial treatment should be provided. Do not state ?UTI or ?infection, provide details of symptoms and if recurrent infection.

For Mycobacteria culture collect 3 consecutive early morning urine samples in plain containers

Specimen transport: Where delays in processing are unavoidable, refrigeration at 4°C is essential.

Please note samples may be rejected if not appropriately stored