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  • Author or Editor: Julie D. Pack x
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OBJECTIVE To determine the impact of processing delay, temperature, and transport tube type on results of quantitative bacterial culture (QBC) of canine urine.

DESIGN Diagnostic test evaluation.

SAMPLE 60 mL of pooled urine from 4 dogs, divided into six 10-mL aliquots.

PROCEDURES Urine aliquots were spiked with bacteria from 1 of 6 independent Escherichia coli cultures to achieve a target bacterial concentration of 105 CFUs/mL. One milliliter from each aliquot was transferred into 5 silicone-coated clot tubes (SCTs) and 5 urine transport tubes (UTTs). Samples were stored at 4°C (39°F) and 25°C (77°F) for 0, 8, and 24 hours, and then standard QBCs were performed.

RESULTS Median bacterial concentration for urine samples stored in a UTT for 24 hours at 4°C was lower than that for samples stored in an SCT under the same conditions. Conversely, a substantial decrease in median bacterial concentration was identified for samples stored for 24 hours in an SCT at 25°C, compared with the median concentration for samples stored in a UTT under the same conditions. Median bacterial concentration in samples stored in an SCT at 25°C for 24 hours (275 CFUs/mL) was less than the cutoff typically used to define clinically important bacteriuria by use of urine samples obtained via cystocentesis (ie, > 1,000 CFUs/mL).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Canine urine samples submitted for immediate QBC should be transported in plain sterile tubes such as SCTs. When prolonged (24-hour) storage at room temperature is anticipated, urine samples should be transported in UTTs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association