With the application of the oligodynamic bactericidal property of silver ions, modification of the urinary catheter and drainage system has been found effective in the prevention of urinary tract infections owing to prolonged bladder catheterization. The newly devised catheter and open drainage system were used in 102 patients for bladder catheterization postoperatively or in those with urinary retention for periods ranging from 4 to 77 days. During the period of indwelling catheterization usually no antibiotics were administered and no patient had overt bacteriuria (more than 10(5) bacteria per ml.) or symptoms of urethritis. In contrast, all 20 patients in the control group who had the conventional type of indwelling catheters had bacteriuria within 4 days of catheterization. The data obtained indicate that effective prevention of urinary tract infection, which frequently is associated with indwelling urethral catheterization, can be achieved by the use of the modified catheter and drainage system.