Advancing and evaluating a breakthrough diagnostic intervention for acute urinary tract infection

This project will develop and evaluate a test that provides diagnosis of urinary tract infection in 30 minutes – instead of the current standard of three days – with greater accuracy.

The innovation will allow doctors to prescribe more precise treatment, thereby preventing inaccurate prescriptions, which can fuel the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Half of all women experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. Most women are prescribed antibiotics for UTI based on the judgement of a doctor alone, as the current test takes three days and often does not provide helpful information. However, many types of bacteria that cause these infections are no longer sensitive to commonly used antibiotics. The new test can ensure timely and appropriate treatment for this infection.


  • Professor Chris Butler, Professor of Primary Care, Director of the NIHR MedTech and IVD Co-operative and Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Oxford.
  • Dr Mandy Wootton, Lead Microbiologist, Specialist Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Unit, Public Health Wales.
  • Dr Petter Hammar, Lead Development Scientist, Astrego Diagnostics AB.
  • Dr Magnus Peterson, Specialist In General Medicine, Region Uppsala Sweden.

This project is developing a test designed to help healthcare professionals diagnose urinary tract infection in urine samples in only 30 minutes, and with better accuracy, to ensure that an appropriate antibiotic is prescribed quickly.

The solution is designed to improve the current situation, in which the lack of information available to doctors means that patients receive antibiotics when they don’t need them, don’t receive antibiotics when they need them, or receive an antibiotic that is not effective against their infection.

In the first phase of the project, the team will work to advance the development of a promising test for UTI called qUTI (developed by Astrego Diagnostics). In the second phase of the project, the UK team members will evaluate the diagnostic test in primary care clinics, to check how well the test performs. The project will yield information on the performance of qUTI and feedback from clinical staff on usability, which will help Astrego to plan the next steps in the development of qUTI.


If qUTI reaches good levels of performance, the clinic-ready diagnostic will help to ensure that urinary tract infections are diagnosed more accurately, and that those with infections receive appropriate treatment. This has positive impacts for:

  • Physicians, who can achieve greater precision in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Patients, who receive personalised and accurate treatment that results in better health.
  • The healthcare system, because more accurate prescriptions help to fight antimicrobial resistance.
Why this is an EIT Health project

By promising a new weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, this project is in keeping with EIT Health’s overall goal of improving healthcare for Europeans. The project is also in line with the EIT Health Focus Area of “Improving Care Pathways”, because it promises to improve the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections.

Christopher Butler
| Nuffield Department | Primary Care Health Sciences