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Urine culture (Mid Stream)



Mid-Stream Urine (MSU)

Specimen container

Red Top Urine Tube with Boric Acid

Please note that urine samples received in plain white top Universals without boric acid will be rejected by the laboratory, as lack of preservative may lead to bacterial overgrowth and subsequent issue of incorrect results. White topped universals will be accepted for paediatric specimens (ages 10 and under). Please ensure these are refrigerated after collection and awaiting transport to the laboratory.

How To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘Urine MC&S‘ or test code ‘LAB348

Specimen Collection


Before you enter the toilet, make sure you understand exactly what you are required to do, ask a nurse to explain if you are uncertain. The initial flow of urine (that is normally discarded) will be sufficient to wash out any organisms in and around the urethra.

The next / ‘middle portion/midstream’ portion of urine will truly reflect if infection is present, this is important for a correct diagnosis.


i) With one hand draw back the foreskin; clean the skin surrounding the urethral meatus with soap and water (not antiseptic), and dry with a towel.

ii) Commence urinating into the toilet.

iii) After the flow has started place the receptacle under the stream with the other hand to catch the middle portion or urine.

iv) Finish urinating into the toilet.


i) Part the labia (folds of skin above the entrance to the vagina) and clean the area between them from the front to back with soap and water (not antiseptic).

ii) Sit on the toilet and with one hand separate the labia (folds of skin above the entrance to the vagina).

iii) Commence urinating into the toilet.

iv) After the flow has started, place the receptacle under the stream with the other hand to catch the “middle portion” of urine.

v) Finish urinating into the toilet.


a) Fill the specimen container with urine from the receptacle and secure the top.

b) Empty the remaining urine into the toilet and flush

c) If in the community, rinse the receptacle with water. If in hospital, hand the cleansed receptacle to the nurse to be placed into a washer/disinfector machine.

d) Wash your hands with soap and water.

e) Place the specimen container in the pocket of the polythene bag.

f) Make sure the specimen is labeled with your name.


Special Instructions

Do not send urine to microbiology unless clinical signs or symptoms of infection are present. Refer to PHE guidelines on diagnosis of UTI and to the FAQ on recurrent UTIs.

Please state if this a routine screening sample (antenatal, pre op etc)

Please state if patient has a long term urinary catheter

Please state if patient is neutropenic/ leucopaenic or under 3 years of age

Please state if patient is pregnant


Test Usage

Microscopy & Culture


Tested at RDUH

Processing Time

Reports on negative specimens are available within 24 hours

Reports on positive specimens are available at 72 hours

Urgent Specimen Instructions

Urgent Microscopy is available on request during routine working hours. Please contact the laboratory if this is required.

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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