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Clinical Summary

Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Adults: Screening

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinical Summary of a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

This document is a summary of the 2008 recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on universal screening for hearing loss in newborns. This summary is intended for use by primary care clinicians.

Select for copyright and source information.

Population All Pregnant Women Men and Nonpregnant Women
Recommendation Screen with urine culture
Grade: A
Do not screen.
Grade: D
Detection and Screening Tests

Asymptomatic bacteriuria can be reliably detected through urine culture.

The presence of at least 105 colony-forming units per mL of urine, of a single uropathogen, and in a midstream clean-catch specimen is considered a positive test result.

Screening Intervals

A clean-catch urine specimen should be collected for screening culture at 12-16 weeks' gestation or at the first prenatal visit, if later.

The optimal frequency of subsequent urine testing during pregnancy is uncertain.

Do not screen.

Benefits of Detection and Early Treatment

The detection and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria with antibiotics significantly reduces the incidence of symptomatic maternal urinary tract infections and low birthweight.

Screening men and nonpregnant women for asymptomatic bacteriuria is ineffective in improving clinical outcomes.

Harms of Detection and Early Treatment

Potential harms associated with treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria include:

  • Adverse effects from antibiotics.
  • Development of bacterial resistance.
Other Relevant USPSTF Recommendations

Additional USPSTF recommendations involving screening for infectious conditions during pregnancy can be found at here.

For the full recommendation statement and supporting documents (including a summary of the evidence) please go to

Copyright and Source Information

This document is in the public domain within the United States.

Requests for linking or to incorporate content in electronic resources should be sent via the USPSTF contact form.

Current as of: July 2008

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Adults: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. June 2016.

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