Standard UTI testing 'doesn't diagnose all cases of infection'

Women who are suffering from pain when going to the toilet or who constantly feel they need to urinate are likely to have a urinary tract infection (UTI), even if tests come back negative for bacterial infection.

Around a quarter of UTI cases do not show up when using standard testing, meaning women are not being treated correctly.

New research, which was published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, found that nearly all women who presented with UTI symptoms did, in fact, have an infection. A more sensitive test was able to diagnose UTIs even when standard testing failed to do so.

These findings suggest that testing is not needed for women presenting with UTI symptoms, as it is almost always the case that they have a bacterial infection and require treatment.

Around two to five per cent of women's visits to GPs are due to UTI cases and yet just 60 to 80 per cent of these women are diagnosed with a UTI following laboratory testing.

Those women who do not test positive are not prescribed with antibiotics, which means the infection can get worse or return.

Dr Stefan Heytons from the University Ghent and leader of the study said: "Our findings support previous research, which indicates that traditional testing may not be helpful in uncomplicated UTIs. However, traditional urine culture tests may still have a role to play if treatment fails or if there are signs and symptoms of a more complicated UTI.

"What we don't yet know is whether all women with these symptoms would benefit from a course of antibiotics."ADNFCR-2094-ID-801835288-ADNFCR