This manual proposes a standard of care for the sites participating in the Perpetual Observational Study on complicated Urinary Tract Infections (POS-cUTI) conducted within the ECRAID-Base project. Its aim is not only to ensure data comparability and reliability within the study, but to serve as a guide for implementing good practices in routine UTI laboratory management.
The manual provides basic information on routine diagnostic procedures in processing a urine sample in a microbiology laboratory. Due to the frequent contamination of a urine sample with the periurethral microbiota, urine culture findings are not straight forward to report. After observing growth on an agar plate a decision on further workup is based on the information about the type of specimen and the colony count and morphology. As not all bacterial species have the same potential to cause urinary tract infection (UTI), final reporting will also depend on species identification. However, final interpretation of the clinical significance of the quantitative bacteriuria report is linked to the clinical presentation of the patient. As different significance cut-off values are applicable for different UTI categories, standardised classification of urinary tract infections has a great impact on the correct interpretation of the laboratory findings.