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  • 1 November 2022 to 31 July 2024
  • Project No: 590
  • Funding round: FR4

Urine infection is a painful, common condition which is potentially serious if untreated. These infections are most common in women, affecting almost half of all women at least once. Most patients receive antibiotics for the symptoms of this infection, but sometimes the symptoms are not caused by bacteria. To avoid urine infection bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant, we need to make sure only those patients with actual infections receive antibiotics. To do this we need a good quick test for urine infection, as the tests we have for urine infection are either too slow or inaccurate.

Lots of companies are developing new urine infection tests. These quick tests are designed to work in GP surgeries and aim to show if a urine infection is present. Some tests also say which antibiotic is most likely to work. They could revolutionise how we treat urine infection and save a lot of unnecessary antibiotics being used. Before we can use them in the NHS, we need to be sure they perform well enough when used in GP surgeries. We will do this by comparing new tests to standard tests for urine infection. Setting up these studies is expensive and time consuming for individual test companies, and so it can take a long time for good evidence to become available.

In this study we aim to solve this problem by showing it is possible to evaluate many rapid tests for urine infection at the same time in GP surgeries. We will collect urine samples from up to 800 women who contact their GP with symptoms of urine infection. The study will compare results from at least three and up to four of these new tests to the standard tests.

Alongside finding out how well new rapid tests detect UTI, we will work with the companies, GPs, nurses and patients to understand how we could keep this study running after the research funding has finished. We will find out how to combine further public funding and financial support from interested companies in the future and how we can make fair decisions about which tests should be given priority to access our study.

We are a team of GPs, researchers and patients who are experts at evaluating new tests, joined by experts in developing tests and business development. The Longitude Prize team, who are supporting developers around the world to invent infection diagnostics, have suggested the initial tests for this study.

The project will be supported by a panel of public representatives, including an experienced patient co-applicant. They will help us run the study, and we will work together to communicate our findings to patients and the public.

Amount Awarded: £553,820

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.