Urine culture

Alphabetical Test listing

Urine culture-6564

Urine culture
  • Culture
  • Identification, susceptibilities and serogrouping will be performed on all microbiology isolates considered by the laboratory to be significant
  • Gram stain isĀ not routinely performed; order separately (6584/87205.0) if requested.

Detection of common uropathogens associated with urinary tract infections.


How to collect a sample for a urine culture

If a urinary catheter has been in place for ≥5days, remove before collecting the urine sample.


Transfer specimen to a Urine preservative vial/tube, C&S, or if specimen volume is not sufficient (minimum 4 mL), submit entire specimen in a sterile container (not optimum for off-site specimens-MUST be transported refrigerated within 24 hrs of collection).

  1. Transfer specimen into evacuated tube(s):
    1. Place collection container on a clean, flat surface.
    2. Place tip of transfer straw into urine specimen. The collection container may be tipped at an angle if volume of urine is limited.
    3. Place evacuated tube into holder, stopper down. Advance the tube over puncture point to pierce stopper. If filling multiple tubes, the BD Vacutainer® C&S Preservative Urine Tubes should be filled first
    4. Hold tube in position until filled.
    5. Remove tube from holder.
    6. Mix tube 8 - 10 times by inversion.
    7. If another tube is to be filled, leave transfer straw in container and repeat steps c - f.
  2. Lift transfer straw from cup and allow specimen to drain.
  3. Discard transfer straw in a biohazard container approved for sharps disposal per your facility’s recommended procedure.
  4. Label tube(s) with patient name, 2nd identifier, date and time of collection and indicate if specimen is "void", "cath" or "foley" collection.

Urine processing instructions (BD)




Urine preservative vial/tube, C&S

Screw cap plastic container (sterile) if less than 4mL of specimen is available


Urine preservative vial/tube, C&S
Ambient - 48 hours
Refrigerated - 48 hours

Screw cap plastic container (sterile)
Refrigerated - 24 hours

  • Improper label (unlabeled or mislabeled)
  • Time delay between time of collection and receipt of specimen
    • Specimens received in a sterile container at ambient temperatures more than 2 hours after collection
  • Improper transport container
  • Improper transport temperature
  • Inappropriate specimen type
  • Leaking container
AHL - Microbiology: M
1 - 2 days



No growth

Additional CPT codes: 87186 - Sensitivities (if appropriate) 87077 - ID (if appropriate) This list may not be all inclusive if there is the need to send the ID or sensitivities out to a referral laboratory