Evaluation of a rapid immunoassay for bacteriuria in dogs

Craig M. Sutter, Jonathan D. Dear, Jeffrey R. Fine, Jully Pires, Jane E. Sykes, Gilad Segev, Jodi L. Westropp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The ability to detect bacteriuria in dogs with a point-of-care test might improve medical care and antimicrobial stewardship. Hypothesis and Objective: A rapid immunoassay (RIA; RapidBac) will provide acceptable sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of bacteriuria. Animals: Forty-four client-owned dogs with a clinical indication for urinalysis and aerobic bacterial urine culture. Methods: Prospective study. Urine, collected by cystocentesis, was submitted for urinalysis and culture at a diagnostic laboratory. Owners completed an enrollment questionnaire regarding their dogs' clinical signs. The RIA was performed according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Results were compared to culture. Results: Forty-four urine specimens were evaluated from 44 dogs. The sensitivity and specificity of the RIA test to detect bacteriuria compared to urine culture were 81.8% (95% CI, 65.7%-97.9%) and 95.5% (95% CI, 86.8%-99.9%), respectively. For cultures yielding ≥103 CFU/mL, sensitivity increased to 90.0% (95% CI, 76.9%-100%) and specificity was similar at 95.2% (95% CI, 86.1%-99.9%). Malodorous urine, bacteriuria, and pyuria were more likely to be present in dogs with positive RIA or urine culture results compared to dogs with negative results. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: The RIA was easy to perform and had good sensitivity and excellent specificity in this group of dogs. The RIA might be a useful screening test for decision-making regarding antimicrobial therapy in dogs with a clinical indication for urine culture. Consideration could be given to amending the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Disease definition of bacterial cystitis as the presence of signs of lower urinary tract disease together with positive culture or a positive RIA.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1015-1020
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • RIA
  • RapidBac
  • bacteriuria
  • urinary tract infection

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)


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