Asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy
Deepjyoti Kalita, Sangita Deka
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is common in pregnant women and around 4-7% pregnant women actually suffer from this condition. A history of previous urinary tract infections and low socioeconomic status are risk factors for bacteriuria in pregnancy. Escherichia coli is the most common aetiologic agent in asymptomatic infection (also in symptomatic infection) and a quantitative (semiquantitative) culture is the gold standard for diagnosis. Treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria has been shown to reduce the rate of pyelonephritis in pregnancy and therefore screening for and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria has become a standard of obstetrical care. Antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria is associated with a decrease in the incidence of low birth weight though there are some controversies in the conclusions drawn by different studies. Empirical antibiotic treatment is the mainstay of therapy in non-reccurrent type ABU. However, there is no clear consensus in the literature on antibiotic choice or duration of therapy for infection. With increasing antibiotic resistance, consideration of local resistance rates is necessary when choosing empirical therapy.