Modern bacteriological concepts in the treatment and diagnosis of urinary tract infection: written for the Lewis Cameron Undergraduate Prize in Bacteriology
Allan, David M.
The urinary tract is subject to infection by many different micro-organisms and throughout its length. The most important infections at the present time are those caused by the Gram negative bacilli. Other important infections are renal tuberculosis, gonorrhea and perinephric abcesses, which are usually caused by Staphylococci. In each of these infections the bacteriological Laboratory has a part to play in the diagnosis. Renal tuberculosis is now rare, but the possibility must always be borne in mind. The only satisfactory way of establishing the diagnosis in this case is culture of a series of overnight urine specimens and examination of the Ziehl- Neelsen stained smear for the presence of acid - and alchohol-fast bacilli. The diagnosis of gonorrhea is usually evident on clinical grounds, but it is important to establish it firmly by taking a suitable specimen and growing the organism to study its morphology.