Using Molecular UTI Testing To Make Better Healthcare Decisions

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be painful and, left untreated, can significantly impact a person’s health. Antibiotics are a powerful, successful way to treat UTIs, but only if the right antibiotic is issued to treat the specific infection. Not all UTIs are caused by the same strain of bacteria, so in order to successfully treat the infection, it’s essential to know what caused it.

Rapid UTI tests can help pinpoint the strain that caused a patient’s infection, using a molecular method that identifies the bacteria and pairs it with the correct antibiotic to treat it.

Long-term care patients in nursing homes or assisted living communities may face higher risks of contracting UTIs at their elderly ages. People who have trouble with incontinence may have a much higher risk than others of contracting a UTI, but molecular UTI testing may be able to diagnose urinary tract infections sooner and help nurses and home supervisors get their patients the treatment they need sooner.

What Is a Molecular UTI Test?

A Molecular UTI test identifies the bacteria that causes the infection by its DNA. Tests are performed in a certified lab and can deliver results within a few hours, if necessary. Molecular UTI testing technology has revolutionized the way that UTI testing is completed, including the time frame in which it takes to diagnose the bacterial strain and prepare the right antibiotics. Testing is convenient and accurate, and your patients can enjoy faster treatment and reduced risk of complications because of it.

What are the Indications For Molecular UTI Testing?

UTI PrevalenceIndications for a urine culture or molecular UTI testing are when the patient has urinary tract infection symptoms or signs. Typical signs of a UTI include:

  • Burning in the urethra, or urethral pain
  • Increased urge to urinate, even if you’ve just gone
  • Passing only small amounts of urine
  • Pain in the bladder or pelvis
  • Cloudy, dark, pink, or red urine

These symptoms are associated with bladder inflammation, called cystitis, or urethral inflammation, called urethritis. Both of these are caused by an underlying UTI. If your patients are complaining of pain when they use the bathroom or if they’re exhibiting symptoms like this, then it’s time to order a molecular UTI test.

Molecular vs. Culture Testing

Molecular UTI testing has several features that make it a better option than the traditional urine culture for detecting the bacteria causing the UTI. Turn-around time is the biggest factor, enabling you to treat your patients several days faster. Real-time PCR analysis can deliver results within hours, often less than 12 hours. Not only is this method faster, but it’s also more precise.

Another benefit of Molecular UTI testing is that it’s more precise. Unlike cultural analysis, which requires a sufficient amount of the bacteria in the sample (and a relatively fresh sample) in order to properly determine the type of bacteria, molecular UTI testing can determine the kind of bacteria with much more sensitivity. Our testing is able to extract the DNA of any microbes in the sample, even if it’s an older sample or there’s just a trace amount of the bacteria. The pathogen’s DNA allows our labs to identify any types of pathogens in the sample, not just microbes.

We can detect pathogens with much more sensitivity and accuracy, including co-infected specimens, plus note which pathogens are present in low volumes and high volumes. If your patient has multiple strains of bacteria in their sample, we can identify that. In fact, this form of testing may even be able to detect antibiotic resistance, which can help the physician better treat the patient.

In summation, the benefits of molecular UTI testing are:

  • Faster diagnosis times
  • Higher sensitivity in the test result, meaning greater accuracy
  • Specific and sensitive co-infection detection

UTI symptoms can be vague, and urinary tract infections are often hard to immediately pinpoint. However, with swift molecular sample testing, your diagnosis will be reliable every time.

How Can Rapid Results Improve Both Your and Your Patients’ Health?

The faster you’re able to properly diagnose a UTI, the quicker you can start your patient on an antibiotic regimen that will target the specific bacteria present. Plus, if you’re able to note the presence of multiple types of bacteria or infection, or if you’re able to note whether a strain is antibiotic-resistant, then you can tailor your treatment around those conditions.

Improper diagnosis or ineffective treatment of a UTI can lead to kidney infection, which can be serious and come on quickly. Chronic infections are possible, as is urethral narrowing in men. Untreated UTIs can lead to severe and life-threatening sepsis, as well. The faster and more accurate your lab results, the better precision you’ll have in treating your patients.

Do You Need Molecular UTI Testing?

Do you need a more reliable and accurate way of testing for UTIs for your patients? We can help. At Meridian Diagnostics, we offer molecular urinary tract infection testing with 99% accuracy and results in less than 24 hours. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit your operation.

Share this post