CBSE Science Fair Exhibition Project, Theme “Community Health & Environment” Project “To Detect the presence of Urinary Tract Infections” for Class 9, Class 10 and 12

Project Name : To Detect the presence of Urinary Tract Infections


Project Theme: Community Health & Environment

Objective: To detect the presence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) by performing nitrite and esterase tests

Scientific Principle Involved:

PART I: Test for Nitrites Under normal conditions nitrites are not present in the urine, while nitrates are present from the intake of vegetables. The presence of gram negative bacteria in the urine for several hours will reduce the nitrates to nitrites. The more important of the nitrate-reducing micro-organisms are Escherichia coli and Salmonellae.

Our aim is to devise tests that are easy to use and can accurately detect the presence of nitrites in not just bodily fluids but also in possibly contaminated water. The practical significance of the test is enhanced by the fact that E. coli is the organism that is most often encountered in UTIs.


When nitrites are added to the colour developing solution, the sulphanilamide undergoes diazotization. The diazonium salt thus formed reacts with N-1-naphthyl ethylenediamine by electrophilic substitution reaction to form a magenta colour.

PART II- Test for Esterase

This test is based on esters of α-naphthol as substrates for estimating the activity of esterase. After the oxidation of esters by the esterase enzymes to alcohol, colour is developed by adding diazonium salt to produce an azo dye. In this experiment we will use Sulphanilic acid to make the diazonium salt as it undergoes diazotization easily. A positive result, which would indicate infection, would be a red color obtained within 10 seconds of adding the azo salt solution.

Chemicals Used:

1. Sulphanilamide

2. N-1-naphthylethylenediamine

3. Sulphanilic Acid

4. α-naphthyl acetate

Utility and further scope: There is as immense need to come up with inexpensive and convenient techniques so as to provide optimal health care in the rural areas of India. While methods like microbiology are extremely accurate in detecting infections, they are, more often than not, too expensive and cumbersome to be effective in the interiors of our country where technology is massively underdeveloped and carrying bulky equipment is impossible. The solution to this problem would be to develop methods that can not just be easily employed but are largely effective.

Possible Applications: These processes can prove to be very beneficial for women health especially in rural areas. They can also be used to detect the presence of pathogen in water. The nitrite test can be applied in many aspects, including determining the nitrite concentrations in
sewage or other biological samples such as intracellular fluids, given that the samples are clear and colorless.

The nitrite test coupled with the test for esterase activity would be very precise and helpful in detecting infections.The nitrite test could also be used to detect nitrite concentrations in sewage and other biological fluids.

Conclusion: It is quite clear that this method has multiple advantages and is an extremely effective preliminary test for the detection of pathogen.

Since UTIs is a common problem in India, and the current procedure takes time, this test can very quickly detect the presence of possible UTIs in humans.

Name of the School: Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, Delhi.

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