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Screening Pregnant Women for Bacteriuria Reaffirmed

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend screening men or non-pregnant women

TUESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its 2004 recommendation to screen all pregnant women at 12 to 16 weeks' gestation for asymptomatic bacteriuria but not to screen non-pregnant women or men, according to an article published in the July 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ned Calonge, M.D., of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver, and the other members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force conducted a literature search to ascertain the benefits and harms of asymptomatic bacteriuria screening.

The recommendation to screen pregnant women remains because asymptomatic bacteriuria has been associated with pyelonephritis and birth weight below 2,500 grams. Early detection and treatment reduces the incidence of these two outcomes; however, in non-pregnant women and men, the harm of bacterial resistance to antibiotics outweighs the benefits of early treatment, thus routine screening is not recommended, the report indicates.

"Further research is needed to clarify the optimal timing and periodicity of screening for asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnant women," the authors write. "Research is also needed to develop a screening test that could reduce the use of urine culture, which is labor-intensive and more costly than other urine tests."

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