TOUCAN: Evaluation of new rapid tests for diagnosing urinary tract infections in GP Practice
Participant Information Documents
This study is run from the University of Oxford (UK). The study is starting in June 2023 and is expected to run until July 2024. TOUCAN is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research School of Primary Care Research, NIHR SPCR-2021-2026, reference 590
Background and Study Aims
Half of all women will experience a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) at least once in their lifetime. The most common treatment is with an antibiotic. However, the number of bacterial infections which are resistant to antibiotics is rising because women are being prescribed antibiotics which they don’t need. This happens because GPs don’t have rapid, accurate diagnostic tests to be sure whether a woman needs antibiotics and, if she does, which antibiotic would be most effective.
Currently available UTI diagnostic tests are slow, may not be 100% accurate, or even both. GPs use a combination of symptoms, signs and a simple dipstick test to predict whether someone may have an infection. New, rapid diagnostic tests are now in the early stages of development aiming to indicate whether a woman does indeed have a UTI, and to suggest which antibiotic will be effective. Doctors and patients will then have the knowledge to make immediate and appropriate treatment decisions.
The TOUCAN study is investigating some of these new tests. We will compare the results from the new tests, performed in GP surgeries, with established tests performed in a specialised laboratory to make sure that the new tests give reliable information.
Who can participate?
Women, registered at a GP practice taking part in the study, may participate if they were assigned female at birth, are aged 18 years or above, and have had symptoms of a suspected urinary tract infection for less than seven days.
What are the possible risks and benefits of participating?
Benefits: There will be no immediate benefit for taking part in the study. If our study shows that the new tests are accurate and reliable, they should improve the way any woman with a suspected UTI is treated, and will avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Risks: Taking part in the study will take up a small amount of the participant’s time but there are no risks involved.
What does the study involve?
Participants will be asked to provide a fresh urine sample and to complete a short questionnaire about their UTI symptoms and to confirm their eligibility.
Part of the sample will be taken for the usual UTI diagnostic tests. The rest will be used by our research team to test new UTI diagnostic devices. The test will be carried out in your GP practice by a trained member of staff and will offer a result within 40 minutes. Participants will not receive a result from these new tests as we are not yet confident that they are accurate, however if this study can show that they are accurate, they could improve the way UTI’s are diagnosed in the future.