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New UTI tests

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New UTI tests

Four UTI tests which are said to produce results in under an hour and can be carried out by a healthcare professional in a primary or community care setting could soon be considered for use in the NHS.  

Currently, laboratory-based tests are typically done to find out which, if any, bacteria are present and which antibiotic is most likely to kill them. This can take from 24-72 hours depending on geographical location and day of collection. In the mean time, a suspected UTI is often initially treated with empiric antibiotics before results return. These may have side effects, and could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance developing.  

In draft guidance, NICE called for further research to ascertain how accurate the tests are in detecting and identifying bacteria and how much this will affect decisions about antibiotic prescribing.  

“Soon we expect to have a fuller and more detailed picture of the tests’ accuracy and potential benefits and will be able to make a further recommendation on their use in the NHS,” said Mark Chapman, interim director of medical technology and digital evaluation at NICE. “One of the most exciting aspects of these technologies could be their ability to maximise the use of antibiotics where most effective. We know that reducing antimicrobial resistance is a top priority for healthcare systems around the globe and NICE has a part to play in this mission.  

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