Canada’s Infectious Disease Specialists are Sounding the Alarm

Home / Physicians News / Canada’s Infectious Disease Specialists are Sounding the Alarm

Canada’s Infectious Disease Specialists are Sounding the Alarm


Canada’s infectious disease specialists are sounding the alarm over the unnecessary use of antibiotics to treat asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a condition in which bacteria are present in the urine of a patient who does not show any of the typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Older people, especially those in Long-Term Care facilities, are particularly prone to this condition.

It’s estimated that up to 50% of the elderly have asymptomatic bacteriuria and, in 8 out of 10 cases, they are treated with antibiotics.

Exposing patients, especially elderly patients, to unnecessary antibiotics may expose them to serious side effects such as Clostridium difficile infections and promote the development of antibiotic resistant organisms.

AMMI Canada is launching an awareness campaign to raise the profile of the problem. The title of the campaign isSymptom-­Free Pee: Let It Be –which urges clinicians to consider other factors such as dehydration before investigating and treating for UTI. For more information,

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) has engaged with nursing units at the RGH, PH, WRC as well as some community LTC facilities to help curb the treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria. By providing education, performing random clinical audits of patients with UTI’s and monitoring urine culture ordering they hope to ensure that only the symptomatic patients are on the Right Drug with the Right Dose, for the Right Duration. Cumulative data from these projects will be shared system wide so that those not directly involved can see and learn from these interventions. For more information please visit the ASP or