Urine microbiology


Alternative names, keywords

Urine routine microscopy, culture and sensitivity, MC&S.

Test indications

Investigation of suspected urinary tract infection.

Test information

Always state type of specimen and how collected.

State current/intended antibiotic therapy.

Urine dip strips with leukocyte and nitrite are available for rapid screening for suspected UTI (and remove the need for urgent microscopy of urines on call).

Samples required

  • Mid stream urine collected using the urine collection kit supplied, containing boric acid.

Urine collection kit: instruction for use.

(ref: LIc-MIC-EXUCol, 22_793_0000_201, last reviewed 14.1.2020)

  • Catheter specimen collected using sterile technique with needle and syringe from catheter tubing.
  • Bag urine in infants/children.

Please ensure urine samples for MC&S are submitted in a boric acid container. From February 2021 the laboratory will reject urine samples for MC&S unless they are in boric acid.

Turnaround time*

3 working days (negative results typically available 1 day earlier)

Please note turnaround times have been temporarily amended due to pressures on service - see Microbiology service changes September 2021.


*Quoted turnaround times are the time from receipt of specimen into the laboratory to 90% of reports leaving the laboratory. Stated times are based on normal working hours, Monday to Friday, excluding statutory bank and public holidays.