Journal Article

Laboratory Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections in Adult Patients

Michael L. Wilson and Loretta Gaido

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 8, pages 1150-1158
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/383029
Laboratory Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections in Adult Patients

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections and account for a significant part of the workload in clinical microbiology laboratories. Enteric bacteria (in particular, Escherichia coli) remain the most frequent cause of UTIs, although the distribution of pathogens that cause UTIs is changing. More important is the increase in resistance to some antimicrobial agents, particularly the resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole seen in E. coli. Physicians distinguish UTIs from other diseases that have similar clinical presentations with use of a small number of tests, none of which, if used individually, have adequate sensitivity and specificity. Among the diagnostic tests, urinalysis is useful mainly for excluding bacteriuria. Urine culture may not be necessary as part of the evaluation of outpatients with uncomplicated UTIs, but it is necessary for outpatients who have recurrent UTIs, experience treatment failures, or have complicated UTIs, as well as for inpatients who develop UTIs.

Journal Article.  6000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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