What does the presence of a single bacterium in an unspun urine specimen indicate in the evaluation of acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

The presence of a single bacterium in an unspun urine specimen by oil-immersion microscopic examination is equivalent to at least 105 colony-forming units (cfu)/mL. Bacteria are identified much more easily on a stained versus an unstained specimen.


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