Background During routine post-kidney transplant care, most European transplant physicians screen patients for asymptomatic bacteriuria. The usefulness of this strategy is debated. To make screening cost-effective, asymptomatic bacteriuria should be prevalent enough to justify the expense, and antibiotics should improve patient outcomes significantly if asymptomatic bacteriuria is detected. Regrettably, the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria among kidney transplant recipients is not well defined. Methods To determine the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria among kidney transplant recipients, we did a cross-sectional study among kidney transplant recipients undergoing routine surveillance in three outpatient transplant clinics in Belgium and France. We excluded patients who were in the first two months post-transplantation and/or had a urinary catheter. Asymptomatic participants who had a urine culture with one organism isolated at . 105 CFU/mL were asked to provide a confirmatory urine specimen. Asymptomatic bacteriuria was defined per Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines. Results We screened 500 consecutive kidney transplant recipients. Overall, the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria was 3.4% (17/500 patients). It was similarly low among kidney transplant recipients who were between 2 and 12 months after transplantation (1.3%, 1/76 patients) and those who were farther after transplantation (3.8%, 16/424 patients: P = 0.49). Asymptomatic bacteriuria was significantly associated with female gender (risk ratio 3.7, 95% CI 1.3-10.3, p = 0.007) and older age (mean age: 61 ± 12 years [bacteriuric participants], versus 53 ± 15 years [non-bacteriuric participants], p = 0.03). One participant's colistin-resistant Escherichia coli isolate carried the globally disseminated mcr-1 gene. Conclusions Among kidney transplant recipients who are beyond the second month post-transplant, the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is low. Further studies are needed to ascertain the cost-effectiveness of a screen-and-treat strategy for asymptomatic bacteriuria in this population.
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