Breaking News
October 18, 2018 - 5 Strength-Training Mistakes to Avoid
October 18, 2018 - Immune system’s balancing act keeps bowel disease in check
October 18, 2018 - Anti-inflammatory drug effective for treating lymphedema symptoms | News Center
October 18, 2018 - Keeping Your Voice Young
October 18, 2018 - One-time universal screening recommended to tackle increase in hepatitis C
October 18, 2018 - Researchers to develop new stem cell-based strategies for treating vision disorders
October 18, 2018 - Detecting epigenetic signature may help people stay ahead of inflammatory bowel disease
October 18, 2018 - Understanding AFib: Slowing down the dancing heart
October 18, 2018 - Using NMR to Reduce Fraud
October 18, 2018 - New automated model identifies dense breast tissue in mammograms
October 18, 2018 - Mysterious polio-like illness baffles medical experts while frightening parents
October 18, 2018 - Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis on the rise across U.S.
October 18, 2018 - Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging
October 18, 2018 - New tool could help prioritize recovery efforts for the poorest hit by natural disasters
October 18, 2018 - Hundreds of dietary supplements shown to contain unapproved drugs
October 18, 2018 - Active Pharmaceuticals ID’d in >700 Dietary Supplements
October 18, 2018 - Cell death protein also damps inflammation
October 18, 2018 - Health Highlights: Oct. 15, 2018
October 18, 2018 - Largest study of ‘post-treatment controllers’ reveals clues about HIV remission
October 18, 2018 - Bad Blood in Silicon Valley: A conversation with John Carreyrou
October 18, 2018 - ANTRUK’s Annual Lecture sends out message on shortage of funds for antibiotic research
October 18, 2018 - NAM special publication outlines steps to ensure interoperability of health care systems
October 18, 2018 - Novel method uses just a drop of blood to monitor effect of lung cancer therapy
October 18, 2018 - New blood test could spare cancer patients from unnecessary chemotherapy
October 18, 2018 - Training young researchers to work with data volumes arising in the health sector
October 18, 2018 - New Metrohm IC method is reliable and convenient to use for zinc oxide assay
October 18, 2018 - Global AIDS, TB fight needs more money: health fund
October 18, 2018 - Understanding the forces that cause sports concussions
October 18, 2018 - Research points to new target for treating periodontitis
October 18, 2018 - New tool improves assessment of postpartum depression symptoms
October 18, 2018 - From Biopsy to Diagnosis
October 18, 2018 - Sexual harassment and assault linked to worse physical/mental health among midlife women
October 18, 2018 - Stumped by medical school? A Q&A with a learning specialist
October 18, 2018 - Report predicts life expectancy in 2040, Spain comes out on top
October 18, 2018 - Self-lubricating condoms may help raise condom usage
October 18, 2018 - Targeting immune checkpoints in microglia could reduce out-of-control neuroinflammation
October 18, 2018 - Study finds changes in antiepileptic drug metabolism during different trimesters of pregnancy
October 18, 2018 - Autonomic nervous system directly controls stem cell proliferation, study shows
October 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Talzenna (talazoparib) for gBRCAm HER2-Negative Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer
October 18, 2018 - Sleeping Beauty technique helps identify genes responsible for NAFLD-associated liver cancer
October 18, 2018 - Many U.S. adults confused about primary care, study shows
October 18, 2018 - UC researcher focuses on light-mediated therapies to target breast cancer
October 18, 2018 - With philanthropic gifts, Stanford poised to make major advances in neurosciences | News Center
October 18, 2018 - Mice study shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis
October 18, 2018 - Researchers discover why heart contractions are weaker in individuals with HCM
October 18, 2018 - Participation in organized sport during childhood may have long-term skeletal benefits
October 18, 2018 - Probiotic/antibiotic combination could eradicate drug-resistant bacteria
October 17, 2018 - More Socioeconomic Challenges for Hispanic Women With HIV
October 17, 2018 - 49,XXXXY syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
October 17, 2018 - Scientists uncover possible new causes of Tourette syndrome
October 17, 2018 - Girl undergoes unusual heart surgery after compassionate-use exemption | News Center
October 17, 2018 - Health Issues That Are Sometimes Mistaken for Gluten Sensitivity
October 17, 2018 - Elective induction of labor at 39 weeks may be beneficial option for women and their babies
October 17, 2018 - New smart watch algorithms can accurately monitor wearers’ sleep patterns
October 17, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate epigenetic memory transmission via sperm
October 17, 2018 - FDA, DHS announce memorandum of agreement to address cybersecurity in medical devices
October 17, 2018 - Health Tip: Know the Risks of Chicken Pox
October 17, 2018 - Immunotherapy effective against hereditary melanoma
October 17, 2018 - Researchers reveal new mechanism for how animal cells stay intact | News Center
October 17, 2018 - Alzheimer's Goes Under the Cryo-Electron Microscope
October 17, 2018 - Medicare for all? CMS chief warns program has enough problems already
October 17, 2018 - Metrohm Raman introduces Mira P handheld Raman system
October 17, 2018 - Expanding the knowledge about hippocampus to better understand cognitive deficits in MS
October 17, 2018 - Study of Nigerian breast cancer patients reveals prevalence of aggressive molecular features
October 17, 2018 - Many healthy children may have metabolic risk factors, finds study
October 17, 2018 - A new antibiotic could be a better, faster treatment for tuberculosis
October 17, 2018 - “I will not become a Robot Doctor”: A medical student vows to practice compassion
October 17, 2018 - Study findings may explain sporadic outbreaks of C. difficile infections in hospitals
October 17, 2018 - Purdue researchers develop new chemical process to find better drug ‘fits’ for patients
October 17, 2018 - Yale researchers develop way to attack RNA with small-molecule drugs
October 17, 2018 - New pragmatic study launched to understand the effectiveness of new type 2 diabetes drug
October 17, 2018 - Alnylam Announces Plan to Initiate Rolling Submission of a New Drug Application and Pursue Full Approval for Givosiran
October 17, 2018 - Nine cases of polio-like illness suspected in children in illinois
October 17, 2018 - Eisai enters into agreement with Eurofarma for development and sales of lorcaserin in 17 countries
October 17, 2018 - Patients once thought incurable can benefit from high-dose radiation therapy
October 17, 2018 - Researchers awarded grant to advance testing of experimental heroin vaccine
October 17, 2018 - Researchers examine SSRI use during pregnancy and major gestational malformations
October 17, 2018 - FDA grants Rare Pediatric Disease Designation for Immusoft’s Iduronicrin genleukocel-T
October 17, 2018 - Reliable Respiratory announces acquisition of Attleboro Area Medical Equipment
October 17, 2018 - Study reveals link between childhood abuse and higher arthritis risk in adulthood
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