Indications for urine cultures and susceptibility testing in UTI

Mark Loeb

Dr Mark Loeb is a professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, division director for Infectious Diseases, and Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Infectious Diseases at McMaster University.

Should antimicrobial treatment in a patient with urinary tract infection (UTI) always be preceded by identification of the etiologic agent and susceptibility testing? What are the indications for performing urine culture?

Mark Loeb, MD, MSc: It’s almost easier to answer this question by saying when you do not need to look for a culture and try to identify and figure out what the susceptibility is.

The major point is that women who are healthy, who present in an outpatient setting with a lower UTI with dysuria, suprapubic pain, and so on do not need to have a urine culture and susceptibility testing done. Those patients can be treated empirically with antibiotics.

However, patients who have a complicated UTI, patients who are very ill, those who are septic should have a culture done, followed up with susceptibility testing.

See also

We would love to hear from you

Comments, mistakes, suggestions?

We use cookies to ensure you get the best browsing experience on our website. Refer to our Cookies Information and Privacy Policy for more details.