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An Analysis of current UTI detection methods

Molecular diagnostics offers providers, speed, accuracy, and reliability.

By Ali Ishak

Updated: March 30th, 2023 8:30 AM

Published: March 29th, 2023 11:23 AM

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common health problem that affect millions of people worldwide. UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications. In this blog post, we will discuss the current detection methods for UTIs.

Current Detection Methods

  1. Urine Culture The gold standard for UTI diagnosis is a urine culture. In this test, a sample of urine is collected and sent to a laboratory where it is cultured to detect any bacterial growth. This test helps to identify the type of bacteria causing the infection and determine the most effective antibiotic for treatment.

  2. Urinalysis A urinalysis is a simple and non-invasive test that can help diagnose UTIs. In this test, a sample of urine is examined under a microscope to look for white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria. The presence of these substances in the urine can indicate an infection.

  3. Dipstick Test A dipstick test is a quick and simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office or at home. In this test, a special strip is dipped into a urine sample and changes color to indicate the presence of certain substances in the urine, such as white blood cells, nitrites, and leukocyte esterase. These substances can indicate an infection.

  4. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) PCR is a more advanced test that can detect the DNA of bacteria in a urine sample. This test is highly sensitive and can detect even small amounts of bacteria. PCR can help identify the specific type of bacteria causing the infection, which can help determine the most effective antibiotic for treatment.

  5. Imaging Tests In some cases, imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan may be needed to detect UTIs that have spread to the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. These tests can help identify any blockages or abnormalities in the urinary tract that may be causing or contributing to the infection.


While there are many ways to detect UTI’s the treatment can vary based on the individual. Another factor that providers have to consider is antibiotic resistance, with Southwest Labs UTI panel, providers are able to leverage cutting edge molecular diagnostics to help identify fastidious and slow growing pathogens. These tests are designed to solve issues with turnaround time and target specificity. Click here to learn more Southwest Labs new UTI panel, and see why more providers are switching from traditional culture to molecular diagnostics.

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