A urine culture is a test that looks for and identifies bacteria in urine. It is used to help diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection (UTI). Depending on the results of the culture, a sensitivity test may be ordered to determine which antibiotics will be most effective.
To perform a culture, a small sample of urine is added to a substance that promotes bacterial growth. If no growth is detected, the urine culture is negative. However, if it contains bacteria or yeast, an infection is present.
A culture us used to determine:
the cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI)
the best antibiotics for treatment(using a sensitivity test
if treatment for UTI is working
A culture is generally used in conjunction with a urinalysis when a urinary tract infection is suspected.
Negative Urine Culture
A negative urine culture indicates there isn’t bacteria or other organisms present in the sample.
Positive Urine Culture
If there is a single type of bacteria growing at a high rate, it’s typically considered a positive urine culture.