Urine culture should not be carried out either routinely or in the absence of the typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection; bag urine collection should be avoided

Type of practice

Laboratory tests

Topic Area


Routine urine culture (once a month) is often performed as part of the follow-up of children with congenital nephro-urological malformations or as part of the standard screening tests for children in good clinical condition. In these cases, the finding of bacterial growth, even at high colony counts, is almost certainly due to contamination, given the difficulty involved in collecting a sterile specimen from a child, or the possible presence of asymptomatic bacteriuria, which does not require specific treatment. Bag urine collection, a method widely used in children for the collection of a suitable specimen for urine culture, carries a high risk of contamination and should be replaced by other methods such as the mid-stream clean catch method or urinary catheterisation.


1. Subcommittee on Urinary Tract Infection SCoQI, Management, Roberts KB. Urinary tract infection: clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and management of the initial UTI in febrile infants and children 2 to 24 months. Pediatrics. Sep 2011; 128(3): 595-610.
2. Ammenti A, Cataldi L, Chimenz R, et al. Febrile urinary tract infections in young children: recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Acta paediatrica. May 2012; 101(5): 451-457.
3. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Urinary tract infection in children: diagnosis, treatment and long term management. 2007. (http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG54fullguideline.pdf).

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