A urine culture done in the early stage of a
urinary tract infection (UTI) may be less accurate than one that is done after
the infection becomes established.
A urine culture may be done when
an abnormal result from a
urinalysis (such as an increased number of white blood
cells) shows signs of an infection. To learn more, see the topic
A urine culture may be repeated after
the UTI has been treated to make sure the infection is cured.
health professional may collect a urine sample by placing a
urinary catheter into the bladder. This method is
sometimes used to collect urine from a person in the hospital who is very ill
or unable to provide a clean-catch sample. Using a catheter to collect a urine
sample reduces the chance of getting bacteria from the skin or genital area in
the urine sample, but catheter use sometimes causes a UTI.
who have a urinary catheter in place for a long time are at high risk for
developing a UTI.
Collecting a urine sample from a small child or
baby may be done by using a special plastic bag with tape around its opening (a
U bag). The bag is attached around the child's genitals until he or she
urinates (usually within an hour). Then the bag is carefully removed. To
collect a urine sample from a very sick baby, a doctor may insert a needle
through the baby's abdomen directly into the bladder (suprapubic
tuberculosis that has spread to the urinary tract, a
special test will be done using all of the first morning urine on three
Sensitivity testing helps your doctor
choose the best medicine to treat specific types of bacteria or fungus that may
be causing a UTI.
Some types of bacteria or fungi may take several weeks to grow in
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.