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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Jul;39(7):2590-3.

Diagnosis of bacteriuria by detection of volatile organic compounds in urine using an automated headspace analyzer with multiple conducting polymer sensors.

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  • 1Department of Infection, Guy's, King's College and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, St. Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom.


The Osmetech Microbial Analyzer (OMA) is an automated headspace analyzer fitted with a novel detector system consisting of an array of polymer sensors, each of which responds to different volatile organic compounds. The system can be used for screening clinical urine specimens for significant bacteriuria by sampling urine headspace and subjecting the output of the multiple-detector response to principal component analysis. The OMA readily distinguished artificially infected urine samples from sterile controls. The OMA was then used to analyze 534 unselected clinical urine specimens, of which 21.5% had significant bacteriuria (containing >10(5) CFU of bacteria/ml). The sensitivity and specificity of the OMA compared with conventional culture were 83.5 and 87.6%, respectively. The OMA is a promising automated system for the rapid routine screening of urine specimens, and further clinical trials are in progress.

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