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.