Asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults

Am Fam Physician. 2006 Sep 15;74(6):985-90.


A common dilemma in clinical medicine is whether to treat asymptomatic patients who present with bacteria in their urine. There are few scenarios in which antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic bacteruria has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Because of increasing antimicrobial resistance, it is important not to treat patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria unless there is evidence of potential benefit. Women who are pregnant should be screened for asymptomatic bacteriuria in the first trimester and treated, if positive. Treating asymptomatic bacteriuria in patients with diabetes, older persons, patients with or without indwelling catheters, or patients with spinal cord injuries has not been found to improve outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriuria* / complications
  • Bacteriuria* / diagnosis
  • Bacteriuria* / drug therapy
  • Bacteriuria* / epidemiology
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications


  • Anti-Infective Agents