Evaluation of culture techniques and bacterial cultures from uroliths

Leigh A. Perry, Philip H Kass, Dee L. Johnson, Annette L. Ruby, Ryoji Shiraki, Joellen L Westropp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The association between urolithiasis and growth of bacteria in the urine or urolith has not been recently evaluated in the past 15 years, and the effects of antimicrobial administration on urolith cultures have not been reported. As well, laboratory techniques for urolith cultures have not been critically evaluated. The objectives of the current study were to 1) report bacterial isolates from uroliths and their association with signalment, urolith composition, antimicrobial use, and urine cultures and 2) evaluate laboratory techniques for urolith cultures. For the first objective, a retrospective search of bacterial isolates cultured from uroliths submitted to the laboratory as well as the signalment, urine culture results, and antimicrobial use were recorded. For the second objective, 50 urolith pairs were cultured by washing each urolith either 1or 4 times and culturing the core. Five hundred twenty canine and 168 feline uroliths were reviewed. Struvite-containing uroliths had an increased prevalence of a positive culture compared to nonstruvite-containing uroliths (P < 0.0001, odds ratio [OR] = 5.4), as did uroliths from female dogs (P < 0.0001, OR = 2.9). No significant difference between culture results and previous antimicrobial administration was found (P = 0.41). Eighteen percent of cases with negative urine cultures had positive urolith cultures. There was no significant difference in core culture results whether the urolith was washed 1 or 4 times (P = 0.07). Urolith culture outcome was not always influenced by previous antimicrobial administration, and bacterial culture of a urolith may not yield the same results as those obtained from the urine. The modified protocol, which requires less time and expense for urolith cultures, may be an acceptable alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-202
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Antimicrobial
  • urinary tract infection
  • uroliths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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