Urine Culture and Sensitivity

From Health Facts
Jump to: navigation, search
Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-21 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

A urine culture and sensitivity test is used to diagnose urinary tract infection (UTI) in patients with dysuria, frequency to urinate, or urgency. It is also used when a person has a fever of unknown origin or when urinalysis suggests an infection.[1], [2]


  • Urinary tract infections are more commonly limited to the bladder. However, the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra can be the source of infection.
  • All cultures are normally taken before antibiotic therapy is initiated as the antibiotic may interrupt the growth of the organism in the laboratory.
  • 48 to 72 hours are required for growth and identification of an organism.
  • An important part of routine culture is to assess the sensitivity to various antibiotics of any bacteria that are growing in the urine in order to help the physician prescribe the most effective antibiotic therapy for the specific bacteria.

Patient Preparation

  • Factors which can cause increased levels:
  • contamination of the urine with stool, vaginal secretions, hands, or clothing will cause false-positive results
  • Drugs: antibiotics

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain.