Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Infectious Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Asymptomatic bacteriuria in sickle cell disease: a cross-sectional study

Vanessa Cumming1*, Susanna Ali1, Terrence Forrester1, Karen Roye-Green2 and Marvin Reid1

Author Affiliations

1 Sickle Cell Unit, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica

2 Department of Microbiology, University Hospital of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:46  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-46

Published: 15 March 2006

Abstract

Background

It is known that there is significant morbidity associated with urinary tract infection and with renal dysfunction in sickle cell disease (SCD). However, it is not known if there are potential adverse outcomes associated with asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) infections in sickle cell disease if left untreated. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of ASB, in a cohort of patients with SCD.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study of patients in the Jamaican Sickle Cell Cohort. Aseptically collected mid-stream urine (MSU) samples were obtained from 266 patients for urinalysis, culture and sensitivity analysis. Proteinuria was measured by urine dipsticks. Individuals with abnormal urine culture results had repeat urine culture. Serum creatinine was measured and steady state haematology and uric acid concentrations were obtained from clinical records. This was completed at a primary care health clinic dedicated to sickle cell diseases in Kingston, Jamaica. There were 133 males and 133 females in the sample studied. The mean age (mean ± sd) of participants was 26.6 ± 2.5 years. The main outcome measures were the culture of ≥ 105 colony forming units of a urinary tract pathogen per milliliter of urine from a MSU specimen on a single occasion (probable ASB) or on consecutive occasions (confirmed ASB).

Results

Of the 266 urines collected, 234 were sterile and 29 had significant bacteriuria yielding a prevalence of probable ASB of 10.9% (29/266). Fourteen patients had confirmed ASB (prevalence 5.3%) of which 13 had pyuria. Controlling for genotype, females were 14.7 times more likely to have confirmed ASB compared to males (95%CI 1.8 to 121.0). The number of recorded visits for symptomatic UTI was increased by a factor of 2.5 (95% CI 1.4 to 4.5, p < 0.005) but serum creatinine, uric acid and haematology values were not different in patients with confirmed ASB compared with those with sterile urine. There was no association with history of gram negative sepsis.

Conclusion

ASB is a significant problem in individuals with SCD and may be the source of pathogens in UTI. However, further research is needed to determine the clinical significance of ASB in SCD.