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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 261-264

Evaluation of commercial boric acid containing vials for urine culture: Low risk of contamination and cost effectiveness considerations


Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Neelam Taneja
Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.120386

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Background: Urine culture is a gold standard in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection. Clean catch midstream urine collection and prompt transportation is essential for appropriate diagnosis. Improper collection and delay in transportation leads to diagnostic dilemma. In developing countries, higher ambient temperatures further complicate the scenario. Here, we have evaluated the role of boric acid as a preservative for urine samples prior to culture in female patients attending outpatient department at our center. Materials and Method: Consecutive 104 urine samples were cultured simultaneously in plain uricol (Control-C) and boric acid containing tubes from Becton Dickinson urine culture kit (Boric acid group-BA). Results: In the real-time evaluation, we found that in almost 57% (59/104) of the urine samples tested, it was more effective in maintaining the number of the organisms as compared to samples in the container without any preservative. Our in vitro study of simulated urine cultures revealed that urine samples could be kept up to 12 h before culture in the preservative without any inhibitory effect of boric acid. Though the use of boric acid kit may marginally increase the initial cost but has indirect effects like preventing delays in treatment and avoidance of false prescription of antibiotics. If the man-hours spent on repeat investigations are also taken into consideration, then the economic cost borne by the laboratory would also decrease manifold with the use of these containers.


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