Breaking News
November 18, 2017 - Harris Health System RNs named among 20 Outstanding Nurses for 2017
November 18, 2017 - Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy
November 18, 2017 - Mount Sinai researchers identify new therapeutic target for ER+ breast cancer
November 18, 2017 - Age, CRP levels predict success in tapering of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis patients
November 18, 2017 - New dye could be used to observe electrical activity of neurons in the brain
November 18, 2017 - New study further validates use of vaginal progesterone to decrease risk of preterm birth
November 18, 2017 - Russian researcher determined range of reference values for boron in the human body
November 18, 2017 - ‘What the Health?’ Tax bill or health bill?
November 18, 2017 - Could Your Cat Give You ‘Bird Flu?’
November 18, 2017 - Vitamin D Linked to Fertility Outcomes in ART
November 18, 2017 - Neuroscientists identify genetic changes in microglia in a mouse model of neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease
November 18, 2017 - Tax reform proposal could impact care for older Americans
November 18, 2017 - PCSK9 inhibitor offers clinical benefit to patients with peripheral artery disease
November 18, 2017 - Researchers receive £1.3 million to develop sight-saving imaging technology
November 18, 2017 - Novel buckypaper sensor could pave way for high-performance, affordable wearable technology
November 18, 2017 - Despite ACA cost protections, most adolescents skip regular checkups
November 18, 2017 - Stem cell treatment allows paraplegic rats to walk and regain sensory perception
November 18, 2017 - HTC analytical conference comes to the UK
November 18, 2017 - Face It: Drinking, Smoking Takes Toll on Looks: MedlinePlus Health News
November 18, 2017 - New research shows where in the brain the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s occur
November 18, 2017 - Philips announces launch of global movement to raise awareness for COPD
November 18, 2017 - University of Bristol awarded grant to reduce antibacterial drug resistance in Thailand
November 18, 2017 - New oxytocin chemical sensor could be first step towards early diagnosis of autism
November 18, 2017 - Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction
November 18, 2017 - Specially tailored, ultrafast light pulses can trigger neurons to fire in different patterns
November 18, 2017 - Decrease in sunshine linked to rising incidence of Rickets
November 18, 2017 - Harnessing social media big data to fight against prescription drug crisis
November 18, 2017 - Researchers find way to switch tumor cells between 2D and 3D morphology
November 18, 2017 - FDA Approves Hemlibra (emicizumab-kxwh) for Hemophilia A with Inhibitors
November 18, 2017 - Adolescents underreport amphetamine use, likely unaware that adderall is amphetamine
November 18, 2017 - Study reveals a reduced risk of teenage eczema in breastfed babies
November 18, 2017 - Separating side effects could pave way for safe, effective pain medications
November 18, 2017 - Gut bacteria at young age can contribute to MS disease onset and progression, study suggests
November 18, 2017 - Environmental triggers may play role in development of Lupus
November 18, 2017 - Review looks into conventional versus new treatment modalities in orthodontic pain management
November 17, 2017 - FDA Alert: Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride and Atropine Sulfate Tablets by Greenstone: Recall
November 17, 2017 - For older women, every movement matters
November 17, 2017 - Talking-based therapy could transform aftercare for cancer survivors
November 17, 2017 - Olympus IXplore SpinSR10 imaging system enables researchers to observe fine details in live cells
November 17, 2017 - Study explores reasons for underrepresentation of minorities in genetic cancer research
November 17, 2017 - California firm running physician practices is closing down as scrutiny ramps up
November 17, 2017 - BMI not valid measure of obesity in postmenopausal women, study shows
November 17, 2017 - Vaginal progesterone decreases the risk of premature birth in women with short cervix
November 17, 2017 - Pricey ER Tests for Chest Pain Often Unnecessary
November 17, 2017 - ‘Old’ Lungs May Be Good Transplant Options: MedlinePlus Health News
November 17, 2017 - How not to gain weight over the holidays
November 17, 2017 - Researchers map first-ever proteome of healthy human heart
November 17, 2017 - Drug used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective for Zika virus
November 17, 2017 - One in 20 children still receiving codeine to treat pain despite warning from federal regulators
November 17, 2017 - Improving clinical trials with machine learning
November 17, 2017 - Experts identify mental exercise program that can reduce risk of dementia
November 17, 2017 - Just-in-time 3-D implants set to transform tumor surgery
November 17, 2017 - Skin patch offers hope for people with peanut allergy
November 17, 2017 - Scientists identify biomarkers that predict risk of death in Ebola patients
November 17, 2017 - Heart attack, stroke patients have improved outcomes when statins are prescribed after discharge
November 17, 2017 - Majority of people do not understand link between obesity and cancer, study shows
November 17, 2017 - Deep vein thrombosis accurately diagnosed by GPs trained in compression ultrasonography
November 17, 2017 - New Kevlar-based hydrogel recreates the magic of natural cartilage
November 17, 2017 - FDA approves first adjuvant treatment to reduce risk of kidney cancer recurrence
November 17, 2017 - Foods made with biofortified corn flour and eggs retain vitamin A after cooking
November 17, 2017 - Integrated Care Winning the Day for Healthcare Companies
November 17, 2017 - CPAP may be superior to gastric banding for severe sleep apnea
November 17, 2017 - New pain relievers reduce opiate overdose risk
November 17, 2017 - Brain astrocytes could play key role in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease
November 17, 2017 - Researchers test whether LVAD surgery could reverse frailty in older adults with heart failure
November 17, 2017 - ATS debuts new video to highlight dangers of flavored tobacco
November 17, 2017 - Medicaid expansion under ACA more likely to increase smoking cessation rates among low-income adults
November 17, 2017 - FDA Approves Mepsevii (vestronidase alfa) for Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII
November 17, 2017 - 1 in 5 Americans Still Uses Tobacco, Gov’t. Reports: MedlinePlus Health News
November 17, 2017 - People with psychotic-like experiences spend less time in healthy brain states
November 17, 2017 - Hospital Readmission Reduction Program linked to increase in death rates, study finds
November 17, 2017 - Study finds rising rates of marijuana use in states where it is legal
November 17, 2017 - Scientists unveil pathology underlying optic nerve hypoplasia in children
November 17, 2017 - Novel device designed to treat diastolic heart failure found safe and effective
November 17, 2017 - Smoking parents may underestimate kid’s exposure to secondhand smoke
November 17, 2017 - FAIMS technology holds potential to be effective screening tool for pancreatic cancer
November 17, 2017 - Applying AFM to study the viscoelastic properties of cells
November 17, 2017 - FDA Alert: Nexterone (amiodarone HCl) 150 mg/100 mL Premixed Injection: Recall
November 17, 2017 - High cognitive ability not a safeguard from conspiracies, paranormal beliefs
November 17, 2017 - Computerized speed of processing training results in decreased risk of dementia
Bacteria Culture Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

Bacteria Culture Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

What is a Bacteria Culture Test?

Bacteria are a large group of one-celled organisms. They can live on different places in the body. Some types of bacteria are harmless or even beneficial. Others can cause infections and disease. A bacteria culture test can help find harmful bacteria in your body. During a bacteria culture test, a sample will be taken from your blood, urine, skin, or other part of your body. The type of sample depends on the location of the suspected infection. The cells in your sample will be taken to a lab and put in a special environment in a lab to encourage cell growth. Results are often available within a few days. But some types of bacteria grow slowly, and it may take several days or longer.

What is it used for?

Bacteria culture tests are used to help diagnose certain types of infections. The most common types of bacteria tests and their uses are listed below.

Throat Culture

  • Used to diagnose or rule out strep throat
  • Test procedure:
    • Your health care provider will insert a special swab into your mouth to take a sample from the back of the throat and tonsils.

Urine Culture

  • Used to diagnose a urinary tract infection and identify the bacteria causing the infection
  • Test procedure:
    • You will provide a sterile sample of urine in a cup, as instructed by your health care provider.

Sputum Culture

Sputum is a thick mucus that is coughed up from the lungs. It is different from spit or saliva.

  • Used to help diagnose bacterial infections in the respiratory tract. These include bacterial pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Test procedure:
    • You may be asked to cough up sputum into a special cup as instructed by your provider; or a special swab may be used to take a sample from your nose.

Blood Culture

  • Used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood
  • Test procedure:
    • A health care professional will need a blood sample. The sample is most often taken from a vein in your arm.

Stool Culture

Another name for stool is feces.

  • Used to detect infections caused by bacteria or parasites in the digestive system. These include food poisoning and other digestive illnesses.
  • Test procedure:
    • You will provide a sample of your feces in a clean container as instructed by your health care provider.

Wound Culture

  • Used to detect infections on open wounds or on burn injuries
  • Test procedure:
    • Your health care provider will use a special swab to collect a sample from the site of your wound.

Why do I need a bacteria culture test?

Your health care provider may order a bacteria culture test if you have symptoms of a bacterial infection. The symptoms vary depending on the type of infection.

Why do I have to wait so long for my results?

Your test sample doesn’t contain enough cells for your health care provider to detect an infection. So your sample will be sent to a lab to allow the cells to grow. If there is an infection, the infected cells will multiply. Most disease-causing bacteria will grow enough to be seen within one to two days, but it can take some organisms five days or longer.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

There are many different types of bacteria culture tests. Ask your health care provider if you need to do anything to prepare for your test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There are no known risks to having a swab or blood test or to providing a urine or stool sample.

What do the results mean?

If enough bacteria is found in your sample, it likely means you have a bacterial infection. Your health care provider may order additional tests to confirm a diagnosis or determine the severity of the infection. Your provider may also order a “susceptibility test” on your sample. A susceptibility test is used to help determine which antibiotic will be most effective in treating your infection. If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

The medical information provided is for informational purposes only, and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your health care provider with questions you may have regarding medical conditions or the interpretation of test results.

In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles