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Nitrite (NIT)

Nitrite is the result of nitrate reduction. Various bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTI) produce enzymes that turn nitrate into nitrite. The presence of nitrite in urine is an indirect confirmation of bacterial infection (bacteriuria). Common microorganisms that can cause urinary tract infections, such as Escherichia coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, and Proteus species, produce enzymes that reduce urinary nitrate to nitrite.
A negative NIT test strip result does not exclude a urinary tract infection because there could be bacteria present which do not produce nitrite. Therefore, nitrite is specific but not sensitive for UTI. Furthermore, with strong bacterial growth, nitrite may eventually be degraded to nitrogen, which means that remaining nitrite levels in the sample may be below the limit of detection.

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