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.
The Urine Culture test includes isolation, identification and susceptibility testing (if appropriate) of detected organisms if results warrant. This test has a reference range of less than 1,000 bacteria/ml. Most infections show bacteria present at greater than 100,000 per ml.
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.