Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in 3% to 5% of healthy young women, with a higher prevalence among women with diabetes and among older women. The authors of the current study review the clinical significance of asymptomatic bacteriuria. In pregnancy, asymptomatic bacteriuria is associated with higher risks for pyelonephritis and preterm delivery and should therefore be treated among pregnant women. However, a clinical trial among healthy women has suggested that treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria does not reduce the risk for subsequent symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI).
Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a significant number of bacteria in the urine that occurs without usual symptoms such as burning during urination or frequent urination.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria may not need treatment, which makes it different from a bacterial urinary tract infection
Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in a small number of healthy individuals. It more often affects women than men. The reasons for the lack of symptoms are not well understood.
Most patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria do not need treatment because the bacteria are not causing any harm. Persons who have urinary catheters often will have bacteriuria, but most will not have symptoms.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria is generally present in 3% to 5% of young healthy women. In a large prospective study, women with recurrent UTI who had undergone antibiotic treatment when found to have asymptomatic bacteriuria “showed a higher rate of recurrences when compared with the untreated group. Antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria was associated with a higher rate of symptomatic UTI over 1 year, Dr. Cai and colleagues report in this study.
The study also found that antibiotic treatment shifts the bacterial spectrum causing asymptomatic bacteriuria. In particular, antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria due to E. faecalis led to growth of multidrug resistant E. coli, regardless of the antibiotic used, the investigators report.