About PCR TESTING FOR UTI
Historically, UTI testing has consisted primarily of an in-office urinalysis and/or a lab-tested urine culture. While these are both valuable tools for identifying potential urinary tract infections, each has downsides. A urinalysis, which involves evaluating the patient's urine under a microscope, can be completed quickly and conveniently right in the office. However, a urinalysis simply looks for the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, nitrates, and debris in the urine - rather than identifying a particular pathogen. A urine culture, which can detect specific bacteria in the urine for a more accurate diagnosis, often takes up to a week to return from the lab.
At Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian and Dr. Ali Kasraeian are committed to offering the most cutting-edge and state-of-the-art tools and technologies available to help patients receive an accurate diagnosis, begin appropriate treatment, and achieve UTI symptom relief as quickly as possible. With this in mind, Kasraeian Urology is proud to utilize PCR testing to diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs). These highly advanced tests are completed in our office and offer same-day results, allowing patients to find out which bacteria is causing their infection, which antibiotic will most effectively treat their infection, which antibiotics their infection may be resistant to, and more critical information. Compared to urinalysis, urine culture, and other UTI tests, the PCR urine test has proven to be up to 96% more accurate.
who is a candidate for pcr testing for a uti?
Virtually anyone experiencing the signs and symptoms of a UTI may qualify for a PCR urine test. Common UTI symptoms include:
Burning on urination
Constant sense of needing to void
Significant urinary urgency
Blood in the urine (hematuria)
Strong or foul-smelling urine
If you are experiencing these uncomfortable or disruptive symptoms of a UTI and desire fast, convenient, and accurate results, a PCR test for UTI may be right for you.
How Does PCR Testing Work?
PCR testing for UTIs is as simple as providing a small urine sample in our office. Dr. Kasraeian will then analyze the PCR test results in order to accurately identify the offending pathogens, drug resistance, and appropriate antibiotic for UTI treatment. This process works more effectively than traditional methods, in part because PCR testing is able to identify a more extensive range of bacteria than other tests. While other testing methods - such as urine culture - can take up to a week to provide results, PCR testing generally yields same-day results, leading to faster treatment and more immediate relief for our patients.
Which types of bacteria DOES A PCR TEST LOOK FOR?
PCR tests performed on a urine sample can screen for bacterial infections and antibiotic sensitivity/resistance, enabling Dr. Kasraeian to prescribe a more targeted treatment right away. PCR tests can also screen patient urine for STDs, yeasts, and other contaminants.
Pathogens included in the screening:
- A. baumannii
- C. freundii/braakii
- Citrobacter koseri
- E. aerogenes
- E. cloacae
- B. fragilis
- E. faecalis/E. faecium
- E. coli
- K. oxytoca/michiganensis
- K. pneumoniae
- Morganella morganii
- Proteus mirabilis
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- S. epidermidis
- S. saprophyticus
- Staphylococcus aureus
- S. pyogenes (Group A)
- Serratia marcescens
In addition, PCR UTI tests can help to identify the causes of repeat or recurrent urinary tract infections, helping patients understand how to reduce or prevent future UTIs.
PCR Testing for UTI FAQ
What is a UTI (urinary tract infection)?
A UTI (urinary tract infection) refers to an infection in your upper or lower urinary tract. The infection may be present in your urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. Women are at a higher risk of developing a UTI than men. Typically, doctors prescribe oral antibiotics to treat UTIs.
What causes a UTI?
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra and growing in the bladder until you have an infection.
How does a PCR urine test work?
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is a fast, effective technique to test for the presence of bacteria and viruses by copying, or "amplifying" a small sample of their DNA.
What tests confirm a UTI?
Most physicians and labs will use either a urinalysis or a urine culture test. At Kasraeian Urology, we use the faster, more accurate PCR test with same-day results for quicker diagnosis and more effective treatment.
How can I treat a UTI (urinary tract infection) at home?
You should always talk to a doctor if you have a UTI, but there are few at-home behaviors that may help improve or preserve the health of your urinary tract, including:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Drinking cranberry juice
- Eating garlic
- Practicing proper hygiene
- Taking vitamin C supplements
- Taking probiotics
Rapid, Accurate Testing for Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs can be painful and disruptive to your everyday life. You shouldn't have to wait days for test results before you can receive proper treatment. With PCR testing for UTIs, we can identify the problem within a day and quickly get you started on the best UTI treatment for you. For more information, contact Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian or Dr. Ali Kasraeian today.
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