A Urine Culture test is used to detect bacteria in a urine sample which may be the cause of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Most UTI's are due to a bacterial infection which begins in the urethra. The most common symptoms of a UTI are swelling or irritation of the urethra, lower back pain, a strong persistent need to urinate and a burning sensation during urination. The majority of these infections can be easily treated if they are caught early. However, if left untreated, the infection may spread to the kidneys which can cause permanent damage. A urine culture test uses a urine sample which is incubated over several days to see what types of bacteria or yeasts grow.
Most positive results will only show one type of bacteria. For the most effective results, it is important to use the clean catch method to reduce the chance of additional bacteria from the skin or hands contaminating the specimen. Results will typically identify and quantify the type of bacteria present. In some cases, results will include susceptibility testing which will identify different antibiotics the strain will be susceptible to. For women, up to three collections may be necessary for the most accurate identification of bacterium. For most men, a single collection will yield accurate results.
The Urine Culture Routine includes: Culture; quantitation, isolation, identification and susceptibility testing of detected organisms at >10,000 colonies/mL if culture results warrant. For a more sensitive test, customers may also order the Urine Culture, Comprehensive.
This test is typically ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms associated with a UTI. Most pregnant women are advised to have a urine culture during the first trimester. This test is often ordered at the same time or as a follow up to abnormal results from a Urinalysis Test.
Turnaround time for this test is typically 3 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
The specimen collection for the Urine Culture, Routine test has specific requirements. This urine sample is performed by the “clean-catch” technique. The technician at the lab will explain instructions upon your arrival or you may speak to a Request A Test representative for more details. Please note: First morning specimens yield highest bacterial counts from overnight incubation in the bladder, and are the best specimens. Yet, you may still provide a specimen any time throughout the day.