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Background: Urinary tract infection (UTI) affects half of women at least once in their lifetime. Current diagnosis involves urinary dipstick and urine culture, yet both methods have modest diagnostic accuracy, and cannot support decision-making in patient populations with high prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria, such as older adults. Detecting biomarkers of host response in the urine of hosts has the potential to improve diagnosis. Objectives: To synthesise the evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of novel biomarkers for UTI, and of their ability to differentiate UTI from asymptomatic bacteriuria. Design: A systematic review. Data Sources and Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Web of Science for studies of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of UTI. We excluded studies assessing biomarkers included in urine dipsticks as these have been well described previously. We included studies of adult patients (≥16 years) with a suspected or confirmed urinary tract infection using microscopy and culture as the reference standard. We excluded studies using clinical signs and symptoms, or urine dipstick only as a reference standard. Quality appraisal was performed using QUADAS-2. We summarised our data using point estimates and data accuracy statistics. Results: We included 37 studies on 4009 adults measuring 66 biomarkers. Study quality was limited by case-control design and study size; only 4 included studies had a prospective cohort design. IL-6 and IL-8 were the most studied biomarkers. We found plausible evidence to suggest that IL-8, IL-6, GRO-a, sTNF-1, sTNF-2 and MCR may benefit from more rigorous evaluation of their potential diagnostic value for UTI. Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of any novel biomarker for UTI diagnosis at present. Further evaluation of the more promising candidates, is needed before they can be recommended for clinical use.

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Journal article


Biomarker Insights

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