Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common infections in both hospitalised patients and the general community. The gold standard for diagnosing an UTI is a positive bacterial culture. Unfortunately, bacterial culture is a time-consuming procedure, leading to a delay in proper treatment. This problem is often circumvented by diagnosing on clinical manifestation alone; however, diagnosis on symptoms alone will lead to an overestimation of the incidence of UTI. Employing a screening method to identify samples that do not have to be cultured has a positive effect on time-to-diagnosis, which is why screening methods to rule out UTI have been developed. The current screening methods and their pitfalls are described here, illustrated by two patient cases. A relatively new technique is also introduced: urine screening by flow cytometry. This overview updates the reader on how to exclude a urinary tract infection using screening methods.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.