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Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test

Last updated March 23, 2018

The Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test identifies candida present in urine. It uses a technique called PCR to detect traces of specific RNA that candida is known to possess, but that which is absent in humans.


What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • C. Albicans RNA Urine Test
  • Candida Sp rRNA Urine Test
  • Infectious Agent Detection by Nucleic Acid, Candida Species, Urine Test

What is Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test? (Background Information)

  • Candida albicans (or C. albicans) is a species of fungi that is naturally present in the oral and genital tract in humans. It may infect individuals with a weakened immune system or those who use certain antibiotics
  • Fungi (plural for fungus) are a diverse, complex group of microscopic organisms. A small subset may cause diseases in healthy individuals, which are usually mild. However, those with weakened immune systems may experience severe forms of the illness
  • Fungi undergo a complex, two-phase life cycle. During their vegetative phase, fungi grow and develop. They then reproduce during their reproductive phase
  • Yeasts are fungi that are single-celled and grow filaments during their reproductive phase. Molds are multi-celled and filamentous throughout their life cycles
  • Many disease-causing fungi switch between yeast and mold forms depending on the temperature of their surroundings. At room temperature (25°C), they grow as multicellular molds. They then convert to single-celled yeasts, when they enter a human host (body temperature 37°C)
  • C. albicans exist in up to 80% of the human population without causing harmful effects. This is because their growth is kept in check by the immune system and competition with other microorganisms
  • Antibiotics may disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the oral and genital tract and create conditions that favor C. albicans growth over other microorganisms. This is especially true, if C. albicans possess antibiotic resistance
  • The Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test identifies candida present in urine. It uses a technique called PCR to detect traces of specific RNA that candida is known to possess, but that which is absent in humans

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test? 

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Foul-smelling urine, cloudy appearance of urine
  • Individuals suspected of having candida infection, which is marked by:
    • Fever and chills
    • Septicemia (blood infection)
  • Signs and symptoms present in the genital region:
    • Itching
    • Foul-smelling discharge
    • Pain     
    • Soreness
    • Rash

How is the Specimen Collected for Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test:

Sample required: Urine

Process: Urination into a sterile container, over a 24-hour period.

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the  Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test Result?

  • A positive Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test may indicate infection with Candida albicans
  • This test is considered to be a rapid test , which is also specific and sensitive

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Even though the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Urine Test requires only 5ml of urine sample, this 5ml should be taken from a 24-hour sample collection. This is because the candida fungus may shed sporadically during urination, which implies that some episodes of urination may have candida organisms, while others may have none. Hence, using a less than 24-hour sample may lead to a false-negative test result
  • Evolutionarily, fungi are very closely related to humans. This makes fungal infections difficult to treat, because the number of specific ways a drug can target a fungus (but not a human) is limited
  • Over 50,000 different species of fungi exist in nature. Of these, less than 200 species can infect humans and only 50 commonly do so

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 6, 2015
Last updated: March 23, 2018