A new dip-inoculum method for detecting bacteriuria which utilizes dehydrated media pads and a nitrite pad attached to a small plastic strip was evaluated in hospitalized patients. Discrepant interpretations were made by independent observers in 9.3% of the specimens with > 105 colonies per ml. The media pads failed to support growth of yeast and gave variable results with Staphylococcus epidermidis and non-group D streptococci. False-negative culture results commonly occurred if the patients were receiving antibiotics. The nitrite test occasionally remained positive for brief periods after the elimination of bacteriuria by antibiotics. Conditions and drugs (especially phenazopyridine) which discolor urine interfered with reading both the culture and nitrite tests. Although not suitable for hospital use, or for monitoring therapy, the test strip is probably as reliable as the calibrated loop-streak plate culture for office screening
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