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.