Asymptomatic bacteriuria: review and discussion of the IDSA guidelines

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2006 Aug:28 Suppl 1:S42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2006.05.010. Epub 2006 Jul 10.


Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a common finding, but is usually benign. Screening and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria is only recommended for pregnant women, or for patients prior to selected invasive genitourinary procedures. Healthy women identified with asymptomatic bacteriuria on population screening subsequently experience more frequent episodes of symptomatic infection, but antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria does not decrease the occurrence of these episodes. Clinical trials in spinal-cord injury patients, diabetic women, patients with indwelling urethral catheters, and elderly nursing home residents have consistently found no benefits with treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria. Negative outcomes with antimicrobial treatment do occur, including adverse drug effects and re-infection with organisms of increasing resistance. Optimal management of asymptomatic bacteriuria requires appropriate implementation of screening strategies to promote timely identification of the selected patients for whom treatment is beneficial, and avoidance of antimicrobial therapy where no benefit has been shown.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriuria / diagnosis*
  • Bacteriuria / microbiology
  • Bacteriuria / therapy*
  • Bacteriuria / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / urine
  • Pyuria / microbiology