Toucan Study

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.


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.

If you are interested in participating please contact us at