MCRI researcher and paediatrician Dr Jonathan Kaufman has been awarded a prestigious grant for his work into the effective diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children. 

Dr Kaufman was one of four early career researchers to receive a $85,000 one-year Clinical Investigator Award from the Viertel Charitable Foundation

Dr Kaufman said UTIs were very common in young children, but hard to diagnose and easily missed. 

"If untreated, UTIs can cause serious infection and permanent kidney scarring," he said. "A urine sample is essential for diagnosis, but collecting a sample can be very difficult." 

Dr Kaufman's previous research has changed practice internationally for how clinicians collect these samples with a quick, simple and non-invasive collection method. 

'The quick-wee method' of gently rubbing a child's abdomen with wet gauze, triggers bladder reflexes and urine voiding, so samples can be collected quickly. 
Dr Kaufman said this ongoing research would include a further randomised trial to determine the best way to collect a urine sample, continuing to improve care for children with this common condition.