Current UK NSC recommendations > Asymptomatic bacteriuria

The UK NSC recommendation on Asymptomatic Bacteriuria screening in pregnancy (currently in consultation)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Apr 2019 and is estimated to be completed by Dec 2020.

» Download the consultation papers for Asymptomatic bacteriuria (PDF document, 2.31MB)

The UK NSC welcomes comments and feedback on the consultation papers during the consultation period that lasts from 30/07/2020 until 22/10/2020. Please send comments to Screening Evidence team by e-mail using this feedback form.

Please note that all consultation submissions will be published on this page when the review is complete. Full details can be found in the confidentiality and disclosure section at the bottom of this page.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended, clinical practice guidelines covered by NICE

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Although women are tested for ASB early in pregnancy, the UK NSC does not recommend a national screening programme because:
  • it is not known how many women and babies are affected
  • there is not enough knowledge about the best way to screen pregnant women, such as when in the pregnancy and how often
  • it is not known if antibiotics would have a negative effect on the pregnancy or when in the pregnancy they should be used
  • the benefits of screening over the current testing process is not known
NICE clinical guidelines should be used for the routine care of pregnant women.

More about Asymptomatic bacteriuria

Asymptomatic bacteriuria is the presence of bacteria in a person's urine without symptoms of infection. It can suggest that a person may have a urinary tract infection. It may also cause complications for pregnant mothers and their babies.

» Read more about urinary tract infection on NHS UK


Faculty of Public Health
Group B Strep Support
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- asymptomatic bacteriuria (2017) (PDF document, 785KB, 09/12/19)
icon UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses- asymptomatic bacteriuria (2016) (PDF document, 165KB, 09/12/19)

Confidentiality and disclosure

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or release to other parties or to disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004). If you want information, including personal data that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence.

In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the UK National Screening Committee.

Any request for information to be treated in confidence will be taken into consideration in the publication of responses to the consultation. The UK National Screening Committee intends to publish all responses following the closure of the consultation period, however we will not publish responses from respondents who request that any of the information in their response, including personal data, should be handled in confidence. The UK National Screening Committee reserves the right not to publish or take into account any representations which are openly offensive or defamatory.

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