AIMS: To evaluate the Uristat test, an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for the qualitative detection of antibodies in urine, as a screening, and in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in the elderly. METHODS: Semiquantitative culture was compared with conventional microscopy, dipstick analysis and the ELISA. In the ELISA, 371 urine samples were examined for antibodies to an antigen mixture of six common urinary pathogens. RESULTS: The sensitivity was 91% and the specificity 25% for the ELISA. The negative predictive value was 81% and the positive predictive value was 43%. CONCLUSIONS: In its present form the Uristat test has no clear advantages over conventional bacteriological techniques for screening urine samples for infection in an elderly population.