Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

Most of the time, your urine is sterile. This means there is no bacteria growing. On the other hand, if you have symptoms of a bladder or kidney infection, bacteria will be present and growing in your urine.

Sometimes, your health care provider may check your urine for bacteria, even when you do not have any symptoms. If enough bacteria are found in your urine, you have asymptomatic bacteriuria.

What are the alternative names for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

Screening - asymptomatic bacteria

What are the causes for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in a small number of healthy people. It affects women more often than men. The reasons for the lack of symptoms are not well understood.

You are more likely to have this problem if you:

  • Have a urinary catheter in place
  • Are female
  • Are pregnant
  • Are sexually active (in females)
  • Have long-term diabetes and are female
  • Are an older adult
  • Have recently had a surgical procedure in your urinary tract

What are the symptoms for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

There are no symptoms of this problem.

If you have these symptoms, you may have a urinary tract infection, but you DO NOT have asymptomatic bacteriuria.

  • Burning during urination
  • Increased urgency to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination

What are the current treatments for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

Most people who have bacteria growing in their urine, but no symptoms, do not need treatment. This is because the bacteria are not causing any harm. In fact, treating most people with this problem may make it harder to treat infections in the future.

However, for some people getting a urinary tract infection is more likely or may cause more severe problems. As a result, treatment with antibiotics may be needed if:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You recently had a kidney transplant.
  • You are scheduled for surgery involving the prostate gland or the bladder.
  • You have kidney stones that have caused an infection.
  • Your young child has reflux (backward movement of urine from the bladder into ureters or kidneys).

Without symptoms being present, even people who are older adults, have diabetes, or have a catheter in place do not need treatment.

What are the possible complications for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

If it is not treated, you may have a kidney infection if you are at high risk.

When should I contact a medical professional for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

Call your provider if you have:

  • Difficulty emptying your bladder
  • Fever
  • Flank or back pain
  • Pain with urination

You will need to be checked for a bladder or kidney infection.


Dull RB, Friedman SK, Risoldi ZM, Rice EC, Starlin RC, Destache CJ. Antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in noncatheterized adults: a systematic review. Pharmacotherapy. 2014;34(9):941-960. PMID: 24807583

Schaeffer AJ, Matulewicz RS, Klumpp DJ. Infections of the urinary tract. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 12.

Zalmanovici Trestioreanu A, Lador A, Sauerbrun-Cutler MT, Leibovici L. Antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;4:CD009534. PMID: 25851268

Top Global Doctors

Latest Research

Latest Advance
  • Condition: Asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy
  • Journal: JAMA
  • Treatment Used: Preventative screening
  • Number of Patients: 16109
  • Published —
The study aimed to review benefits and harms of asymptomatic bacteriuria screening and treatment in adults, including during pregnancy.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Adults with Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Journal: Clinical and experimental rheumatology
  • Treatment Used: Netakimab
  • Number of Patients: 89
  • Published —
This study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of netakimab in adults with ankylosing spondylitis (rare type of arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in the spine).
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in Adults Undergoing Cystoscopy
  • Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
  • Treatment Used: Antimicrobial Agents
  • Number of Patients: 7711
  • Published —
This review of the literature assessed the effects of antimicrobial agents compared with placebo or no treatment for prevention of urinary tract infection (UTI) in adults undergoing cystoscopy.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Pyelonephritis or Urosepsis
  • Journal: PloS one
  • Treatment Used: Initial Gentamicin Dosing or Alternative IV Antibiotic Management
  • Number of Patients: 295
  • Published —
This study compared the clinical outcome of using an initial dosing of gentamicin to manage pyelonephritis/urosepsis rather than the standard alternative IV antibiotic management.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial
Diagnostic Test
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 124
  • Start Date: January 1, 2020
Screening and Treatment of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in the First Two Months After Kidney Transplant. Randomized Control Trial
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Study Type: Behavioral
  • Participants: 14
  • Start Date: January 17, 2019
Behavioral Economics Applications to Geriatrics Leveraging EHRs
Clinical Trial
Diagnostic Test
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 320
  • Start Date: April 17, 2018
a Symptomatic Bacteriuria in Pregnant Females