Evaluation of the BD Vacutainer Plus Urine C&S Preservative Tubes compared with nonpreservative urine samples stored at 4°C and room temperature

Am J Clin Pathol. 2013 Sep;140(3):306-13. doi: 10.1309/AJCP5ON9JHXVNQOD.


Objectives: The stability of urine specimens submitted for culture remains a challenge for many laboratories because of delays in specimen transport. We evaluated the usefulness of BD Vacutainer Plus Urine C&S Preservative Tube in ensuring specimen stability.

Methods: Clinical urine specimens collected in sterile collection cups (n = 110) were plated onto sheep blood and MacConkey agar following standard laboratory procedures guidelines. Thereafter, specimens were divided into 3 storage conditions: nonpreservative, refrigerated; nonpreservative, room temperature (RT); BD Vacutainer Plus Urine C&S Preservative Tube, RT. For each sample type, additional cultures were set up at 2, 4, 24, and 48 hours.

Results: Initially, 18 specimens had no growth, 32 showed mixed skin flora, and 60 yielded at least 1 uropathogen. Increased colony counts of uropathogens were observed for nonpreserved urine samples stored at RT; these changes were statistically significant. Minor differences between refrigerated urine samples and BD Vacutainer Plus Urine C&S Preservative Tube samples were seen but were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The use of preservative-containing collection tubes is desirable to ensure specimen stability when prompt processing or refrigeration is not feasible.

Keywords: BD Vacutainer Plus Urine C&S Preservative Tube; Specimen stability; Specimen transport; Urine culture; Urine specimen storage.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Refrigeration
  • Temperature
  • Urine Specimen Collection / instrumentation*
  • Urine Specimen Collection / methods


  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical