We analyzed the number of colony-forming units in urine cultures obtained by suprapubic aspiration in a group of 366 unselected infants with symptomatic urinary tract infection to relate these findings to factors such as pyuria and vesicoureteric reflux. Seventy-three (20%) of 366 infants had fewer than 100,000 colony-forming units per milliliter. Such low counts were significantly related to low numbers of leukocytes in the urine. Vesicoureteric reflux was equally distributed among children, irrespective of the number of bacteria in quantitative culture. The findings emphasize the importance of sampling technique; in infants, the method of choice is suprapubic aspiration, or catheterization, which eliminates the risk that urinary tract infection is overlooked because of low bacterial counts.