Breaking News
July 16, 2018 - Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 3 Clinical Trial of QPI-1002 for Prevention of Acute Kidney Injury Following Cardiac Surgery
July 16, 2018 - NSAIDs shown to have causal role in cardiovascular risk of patients with osteoarthritis
July 16, 2018 - PET scan tracer predicts success of cancer ‘vaccine’ | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Parents struggle with what to do when their child has headache, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Outrageous or overblown? HHS announces another round of ACA navigator funding cuts
July 16, 2018 - Weight loss surgery may impact individual’s risk of developing cancer, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Alexion Submits Application for Priority Review and Approval of ALXN1210 as a Treatment for Patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) in the U.S.
July 16, 2018 - Restoring epigenetic balance reinstates memory in flies with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
July 16, 2018 - Magnetized wire could be used to detect cancer in people | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Non-surgical management found to be feasible option for penetrating kidney trauma
July 16, 2018 - California clinic screens asylum seekers for honesty
July 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Xtandi (enzalutamide) for the Treatment of Men with Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC)
July 16, 2018 - Can nanotechnology help treat Alzheimer’s?
July 16, 2018 - Researchers identify protein essential for making stem cells | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Radiologist discusses causes, treatments of varicose veins
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop nanostructured surface to accelerate wound healing after dental implants
July 16, 2018 - New non-invasive procedure to reposition kidney stones could benefit astronauts
July 16, 2018 - Attending Surgeon Influences Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer
July 16, 2018 - Medical doctors with addictions fear professional repercussions if they seek treatment
July 16, 2018 - 5 Questions: John Ioannidis calls for more rigorous nutrition research | News Center
July 16, 2018 - SUSU scientists develop rehabilitation device for people with lower limbs injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find definite increase in scooter-related injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers solve mystery of final blood group system
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop near-infrared fluorophores-based PDT to cure cancer with less side effects
July 16, 2018 - Traumatic brain injury biomarker could help predict patient prognosis
July 16, 2018 - Researchers to investigate role of hormones in mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production
July 16, 2018 - AHA: Doctor Makes Lifesaving House Call in His Own Home
July 16, 2018 - Nearsightedness – Genetics Home Reference
July 16, 2018 - Study shows biomarker panel boosts lung cancer risk assessment for smokers
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find link between bereavement during pregnancy, child’s mental health | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Legalizing same-sex marriage has meaningful effects on health care access for sexual-minority men
July 16, 2018 - New York to allow medical marijuana as substitute to opioids
July 16, 2018 - Reducing tapeworm infection could improve academic performance, reduce poverty | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Researchers describe key role of enzyme in regulating immune response against Chagas disease parasite
July 16, 2018 - Johnson & Johnson Announces Publication in The Lancet Highlighting Robust Immune Response to Janssen’s Mosaic-based Preventive Vaccine Regimen for HIV
July 16, 2018 - Do Racial and Gender Disparities Exist in Newer Glaucoma Treatments?
July 16, 2018 - Antibodies may predict transplant rejection risk
July 16, 2018 - New center sets out to stop disease before it starts | News Center
July 16, 2018 - FDA warns consumers about criminals sending fake warning letters
July 16, 2018 - Residential segregation linked with racial disparities in firearm homicide fatalities
July 16, 2018 - UW-Madison researchers develop new method to track Parkinson’s damage in the heart
July 16, 2018 - New approach to cultivate hypoallergenic tomato and strawberry varieties
July 16, 2018 - Smoking associated with delayed shinbone healing
July 16, 2018 - Sheila Dolezal, ‘team player extraordinaire,’ wins 2018 Amy J. Blue Award | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Advanced Prostate Cancer Variant More Common Than Thought
July 16, 2018 - New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom
July 16, 2018 - Renowned microbe hunter Stanley Falkow dies at 84 | News Center
July 15, 2018 - FDA Slaps Stronger Warnings on Potent Class of Antibiotics, Fluoroquinolones
July 15, 2018 - Don’t let depression keep you from exercising
July 15, 2018 - Student research symposium showcases curiosity and scholarship | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Heavy smokers have increased risk of heart rhythm disorder, shows study
July 15, 2018 - Parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems
July 15, 2018 - At colloquium, a range of views on value of predictive algorithms | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Pittcon invites oral and poster presentations for 2019 Technical Program
July 15, 2018 - Virtual reality could offer psychotherapy for fear of heights, study shows
July 15, 2018 - Retooled vaccine raises hopes as a lower-cost treatment for Type 1 diabetes
July 15, 2018 - Kolon TissueGene To Start US Phase III Clinical Trial For Invossa
July 15, 2018 - Study finds prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior
July 15, 2018 - Howard Chang named HHMI investigator | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Study shows tailored mental health services improve wellbeing of emerging adults
July 15, 2018 - A bright future might help teens steer clear of violence
July 15, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine explores the art, science of listening and hearing | News Center
July 15, 2018 - New study tracks how the brain turns simple sensory inputs into meaningful categories
July 15, 2018 - Deadlier subtype of metastatic prostate cancer found to be common than previously thought
July 15, 2018 - UZH scientists identify enzyme that controls cell division
July 15, 2018 - Unhealthy Food Behaviors May Signal Eating Disorder in Teen
July 15, 2018 - Study raises doubts on a previous theory of Parkinson’s disease
July 15, 2018 - Grant awarded to study whether stem cells can treat urinary incontinence | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Imaging techniques may help assess immune system recovery in HIV patients
July 15, 2018 - Machine-learning may aid in diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
July 15, 2018 - ‘Skin Cancer, Take A Hike!’ program promotes sun safety and skin cancer awareness
July 15, 2018 - Blink Health announces lowest prices for generic prescriptions through Blue Eagle Health
July 15, 2018 - New drug strategy can alleviate multiple behavioral, cellular deficiencies in FXS mouse model
July 15, 2018 - Georgia State professor receives federal grant to study virus similar to Ebola virus
July 15, 2018 - Quitting Smoking? Even a Little Exercise Can Help You Stay Slim
July 15, 2018 - DBS treatment may slow the progression of Parkinson’s tremor in early-stage patients
July 15, 2018 - 5 Questions: Luby on virus with potential to cause global pandemic | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Corn loses its cancer-fighting phenolic acids when processed into cornflakes
July 15, 2018 - Study uncovers possible link between iron loading, alcohol intake and mortality
July 15, 2018 - Molecular insights of NagA enzyme could help combat TB
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