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Antech pioneers first automated rapid urine culture for cats and dogs

Accurate results within hours allows veterinarians to deliver appropriate antibiotic therapy for UTIs faster and with confidence

Fountain Valley, Calif. Antech Diagnostics introduced today the first automated test for rapid, reliable urine culture results for cats and dogs. The FIRSTract™ Urine Culture test offers highly sensitive, specific detection of bacteriuria with results in 24 hours. Based on patented light-scattering technology, the novel test enables veterinarians to appropriately prescribe antibiotic treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs) earlier in the diagnostic process.

UTIs are painful for pets. They’re also unpleasant and stressful for pet owners. They’re one of the primary reasons veterinarians prescribe antibiotics. However, current data for veterinary medicine show 40% of antibiotics prescribed are done so with no evidence of infection. Confirming the presence or absence of bacteria within 24 hours, the FIRSTract Urine Culture test allows more informed decisions about antibiotic therapy. Faster access to actionable results speeds delivery of effective therapy. It also helps veterinarians address pet owner anxiety and their pet’s discomfort while upholding their commitment to promoting One Health through good antibiotic stewardship.

“Prescribing antibiotics judiciously and at the outset of a proven UTI is a win for pets, pet owners and veterinary medicine,” said Dennis J. Chew, DVM, DACVIM, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University and Adjunct Professor, Lincoln Memorial University. “Equally important is knowing that bacterial infection is NOT part of the problem, especially in cats with signs of lower urinary tract disease in which true infection with bacteria is uncommon. Knowing for sure whether bacteria are part of the pet’s urinary problem allows the owner and veterinarian to feel confident in withholding or prescribing antibiotics based on the results of this testing, creating a new opportunity for veterinarians to practice good antimicrobial stewardship.”

Antibiotic overuse has a significant, negative impact on veterinary medicine as well as the health and longevity of pets. Supporting good antimicrobial stewardship, the FIRSTract Urine Culture test delivers highly specific, sensitive results faster than urinalysis followed by traditional urine culture, which are limited by sample collection issues and lengthy turn-around times. Using patented technology based on light scattering to monitor intense bacteria replication activity, the new technology provides real-time growth curves that yield fast detection of bacteria in urine samples. Combined with a complete urinalysis, the FIRSTract test provides rapid and reliable verification of the presence or absence of bacteriuria.

“Veterinarians share a profound commitment to the core principals of One Health, an imperative being good antimicrobial stewardship,” said Jennifer Ogeer, BSc., DVM, MSc., MBA, MA, VP, Medical Affairs for Antech. “The ability to make more informed treatment decisions provides us with a level of confidence that’s missing when we prescribe antibiotics empirically prior to obtaining urine culture and sensitivity results. The FIRSTract Urine Culture test creates a new and unique opportunity to meet pet owner demands for a speedy recovery while also satisfying our commitment to promoting antimicrobial stewardship.”

Antech is offering FIRSTract Urine Culture test free of charge to all urine culture tests immediately. For additional detail on clinical validation and supporting data, please visit

About Antech

At the heart of Antech is our love for pets. We combine innovative technologies backed by scientific rigor with data-driven insights and consultative moments to help veterinarians and their teams improve the health and well-being of the pets we love. Our commitment to customers spans more than 30 years and celebrates their dedication to setting new standards in pet care quality, which we support through innovative diagnostic, imaging, education and support services. Today, Antech is driving the future of pet health as part of Mars Veterinary Health, a family-owned enterprise focused on veterinary care. Visit us at Follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

Media: Michele Fox
Mobile: 781.248.9455

1 Wayne et al. Therapeutic antibiotic use patterns in dogs: observations from a veterinary teaching hospital. J. Sm Anim Pract. 2011, 52;310-8