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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1992 May 13;44(3):189-93.

Characteristics of bacteriuria in a homogeneous maternity hospital population.

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  • 1RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Bacteriuria and urinary tract infection are a common cause of morbidity in pregnancy. Recent evidence has, however, questioned the magnitude of this risk and the effectiveness of therapy in reducing it. To clarify matters, a prospective study on 3123 ante-natal women was carried out. Screening for bacteriuria was carried out by culturing a mid-stream specimen of urine. Treatment was given to all patients with a positive culture and was based on antibiotic sensitivity testing. Repeat culture was performed 1 week after completion of therapy. The prevalence of bacteriuria in our population was 4.74%. Over half of these patients were asymptomatic. 67% of those with bacteriuria at screening were symptomatic or had a past history of urinary tract infection. Escherichia coli was the predominant organism cultured. The most effective antibiotic was Nitrofurantoin, which was sensitive in over 90% of isolates. Late urinary tract infection occurred in 3.52% of patients. There was no increase in maternal or foetal complications amongst those with bacteriuria. We concluded that it might be more cost-effective to confine screening to those patients who are symptomatic or have a past history of urinary tract infection.

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