Untreated asymptomatic bacteriuria can lead to urinary tract infection (UTI) in pregnancy with devastating maternal and neonatal effects such as prematurity and low birth weight, higher fetal mortality rates and significant maternal morbidity. We carried out a two year (April 2007 to March 2009) cross-sectional epidemiological study to determine the prevalence of significant bacteriuria among asymptomatic antenatal clinic attendees at two antenatal clinics (ANCs) in University College Hospital and Adeoyo Maternity Hospital, both in Ibadan, Nigeria.
All consenting ANC attendees without UTI were enrolled in the study. Urine specimens of 5 to 10 ml collected from each subject were examined microscopically for white blood cells, red blood cells and bacteria. The specimens were further cultured on MacConkey agar using a sterile bacteriological loop that delivered 0.002 ml of urine. Colony counts yielding bacterial growth of more than 105/ml of pure isolates were considered significant.
Of the 473 subjects studied, 136 had significant bacteriuria, giving a prevalence rate of 28.8%. The highest age specific prevalence (47.8%) was found in the 25–29 year olds while only one (0.7%) was found in the teenage group. A large percentage (64.0%) of subjects with significant bacteriuria had tertiary education, compared with 4.4% who had no formal education but the association was not statistically significant (X2 = 0.47, p = 0.79). The majority (75.8%) of subjects with significant bacteriuria had no previous history of abortion, while 20 (14.7%) had one previous abortion and only three (2.1%) admitted to three previous abortions (X2 = 5.16, p = 0.16). The majority (69.8%) of those with significant bacteriuria presented at second trimester while 38 (28.0%) presented at third trimester (X2 = 6.5, p = 37).
Only 22 (4.6%) of the studied subjects presented at first trimester, and 3 (13.7%) of these had significant bacteriuria.
The prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is high among this study population. Hence we suggest that advocacy programs be initiated to urge pregnant women to access ANC services early in pregnancy.
2011 by The Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine