Urinary Tract Infection: Suspected Sepsis

83-year-old male presented to the emergency department with urinary retention.

Had the T2Bacteria test been performed and the result been reported immediately after collection, the patient could have been initiated on effective empiric therapy over 24 hours sooner, and P. aeruginosa bacteremia identified over two days earlier.


Upon admission, the patient was initially given ceftriaxone for the treatment of suspected urinary tract infection.  At the time of admission, he had blood and urine cultures obtained, and T2Bacteria ordered. At this institution patient selection for T2Bacteria testing was based on elevated lactate and/or procalcitonin in patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected bloodstream infections.

Empiric therapy was chosen to cover E.coli, the most common cause of urinary tract infection. This patient did not present with usual risk factors for P. aeruginosa; thus effective therapy against P. aeruginosa was not initiated until urine cultures demonstrated the growth of P. aeruginosa over 24 hours after admission (T2Bacteria results were not reported as this case was part of an observational study). Blood culture growth with P. aeruginosa was delayed >48 hours after admission.


83-year-old male presented to the emergency department with urinary retention. Sepsis was suspected, and the patient was admitted with orders for blood and urine cultures, T2Bacteria, and antibiotics.

Patient Selection Criteria

Lactic acid 3.29

Evaluation and Treatment Decision


Urinary tract infection

Empiric Therapy


Ceftriaxone was chosen for coverage of common causative gram-negative pathogens of UTIs.

T2Bacteria Panel Result

Positive for P. aeruginosa and negative E. faecium, S. aureus, E. coli, and K. pneumoniae.  

Blood Culture Result

P. aeruginosa (>48 hours after admission)

Urine Culture Result

P. aeruginosa (24 hours after admission)

Decision making based on T2Bacteria Panel Result:

A rapid T2Bacteria result could have allowed for more informed treatment decisions, including the initiation of earlier effective therapy.

According to the CDC, of the 154 million prescriptions for antibiotics written in doctors’ offices and emergency departments each year, 30% are unnecessary.12