Comparison of Uriswab to Alternative Methods for Urine Culture Collection and Transport: Confirmation of Standard Culture Methodology for Investigation of Urinary tract Infections

The ability to isolate and identify causative agents of urinary tract infections relies primarily on the quality of the urine sample that is submitted to the microbiology. The most important factors are the method of collection, the maintenance of viability of the potential pathogens during transport, and standardization of the culturing of the urine sample. This report is a composite of several investigations comparing collection and transport on urine culture paddles, with a preservative urine sponge (Uriswab), and a comparison of Uriswab with the BD preservative transport tube as methods of preservation of urinary pathogens. Primary studies showed that Uriswab maintained significantly more urinary pathogens than the urine culture paddle with fewer mixed or contaminated cultures. The two preservative transport systems were comparable for maintenance of viability of the pathogens, but there were fewer mixed cultures when samples were collected with Uriswab. This study confirms the importance of a standard volume of 1 μL of urine for culture.