The presence of yeast in a urine test is useful for the diagnosis of a common vaginal infection called candidiasis.
Yeasts are a type of unicellular fungus with a diameter about 3 to 40 micrometers. They use organic compounds as their main source of energy and they grow in colonies.
Yeast is not normally present in urine. However, yeast is commonly present in the urine of diabetic patients or those who are immunocompromised. The acidic, glucose-containing urine of patients with diabetes provides an ideal environment for the growth of yeast.
A small amount of yeast entering a urine specimen multiplies rapidly if the specimen is not examined quickly.
A high amount of yeast in a urine test is usually a sign of suffering from candidiasis.
Candidiasis is a vaginal infection caused by a type of yeast (fungus) called Candida. The main symptoms of candidiasis are vaginal itching or soreness, pain when urinating and white vaginal discharge that may be thick (sometimes described as looking like cottage cheese).
Candidiasis is commonly caused by yeast of the Candida genera (albicans, glabrata, tropicalis, parapsilosis, lusitaniae) but it may be caused also by other yeast genera such as Torulopsis.
To study the yeast in the urine, it is necessary to previously obtain the urinary sediment.
For this matter, the urine sample should be placed at rest for some hours waiting for the different elements of the urine (white and red blood cells, yeast, crystals, etc.) precipitate to the bottom. As this process is very slow, the urine is centrifuged for about 5 minutes at 1500 or 2000 revolutions per second to obtain a sample of the sediment in less time.
Yeast cells appear under the microscope as small, refractile oval structures that may or may not contain a bud. In severe infections, they may appear as branched, mycelial forms.
Sometimes, yeast may be difficult to differentiate microscopically from red blood cells, as their size and shape are very similar.
Yeast cells are reported as rare, few, moderate, or many per HPF (high-power-field).
If there is a big amount of yeast in the urine and is accompanied by the presence of WBCs (White Blood Cells) is a sign of a true candidiasis.