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Urinary tract infections are the most common abnormality detected in a urine test. These infections are characterized by the presence of numerous leukocytes (positive leukocyte esterase test) and bacteria (often with a positive nitrite test). However, bacteria can also be seen when the specimen is contaminated during urine collection. In cases of contamination, the bacteria will be accompanied by a small number of leukocytes. The presence of numerous squamous cells (see if this observation is noted) suggests that the bacteria could have come from external genital tracts. However, a positive nitrite test points strongly to a urinary tract infection.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.