Rapid diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection in Primary Healthcare

  • Drake, Marcus J (Principal Investigator)
  • Micciche, Angelo (Co-Investigator)
  • Lovering, A (Co-Investigator)
  • Hayward, Gail (Co-Investigator)
  • Jeays-Ward, K (Co-Investigator)
  • Jacobson, S.K. (Co-Investigator)
  • Hay, Alastair D (Co-Investigator)
  • Kiely, Janice (Co-Investigator)
  • Luxton, Richard (Co-Investigator)
  • Langley, Joe (Co-Investigator)
  • McCarthy, Avril (Co-Investigator)
  • Skews, Rachel (Co-Investigator)
  • Yang, Yang (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common and unpleasant problem affecting
thousands of people. It leads to painful symptoms and time off work, and
sometimes significant complications, such as kidney damage.
GPs diagnose UTI in patients based on their symptoms. Often they will
also check a urine sample for infecting bacteria, and for white blood cells,
which show the patient’s body is generating an inflammatory reaction to
the infection. Current methods to look for bacteria and inflammation are
slow and sometimes unreliable- it can take three days to get a result for a
urine sample sent to a microbiology laboratory. As the patient has ongoing
symptoms, the GP will sometimes prescribe antibiotics before the result is
back. However, if the result received actually shows no infection,
antibiotics could be harmful to the patient, and also to the community at
large, due to increasing risk of antibiotic resistance.
We plan to develop a device which can be used in GP practices to identify
UTI bacteria and inflammation in five minutes. The patients will give a urine
sample to the practice nurse, who will then put some of the sample into a
test cartridge. This cartridge contains antibodies to common UTI bacteria,
and a protein we believe will be a better test for inflammation than the
current check for white blood cells. When the cartridge goes into the new
detection device, the diagnosis will be made.
Patient feedback on our plans was received from patient panels supporting
the research team through focus groups and direct feedback. This
emphasised the importance of ensuring the test is safe, easy to use for
nurses, inexpensive for GP practices, and easy to store. We will ensure the
device is accurate, gives results in line with standard tests, and we will ensure it enhances NHS treatment pathways.
Effective start/end date2/04/182/04/21


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