Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) refers to the presence of bacteria in the urine without symptoms of a urinary tract infection. ASB is a colonization state rather than an infection and DOES NOT require antibiotics. Older persons are much more likely to have bacteria in the urine as a normal condition of aging. Giving antibiotics for this condition will cause unnecessary side effects including diarrhea and will promote resistance of bacteria.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include burning or pain on voiding, increased frequency of voiding, fever and flank pain.

NOTE: cloudy, foul smelling urine does not indicate a urinary tract infection. It usually indicates dehydration and does not need to be investigated with a urine test.

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