dipstick urinanalysis (detection of nitrite)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Nitrite is not found in normal urine; gram negative bacteria reduce dietary nitrate to nitrites. If the bladder incubation time is insufficient, pathogens will not have time to produce this reaction.

A positive urinary nitrite test should always be followed by the collection of a mid-stream urine sample for microscopy, culture and sensitivity.

When combined with a leucocyte esterase test e.g. leucostix it has a 87% sensitivity and 67% specificity for urinary tract infections.