Urinary tract symptoms are common in pregnancy; thus, symptom-based diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) might not be accurate. Such women are often exposed to antibiotics without urine culture and antibiotics sensitivity. Identification of pyuria on urine microscopy of pregnant women with urinary tract symptoms may predict significant bacteriuria and guide such women’s treatment in under-resourced settings.
A cross-sectional study of 233 consecutive consenting pregnant women with UTI symptoms at theantenatal clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital ItukuOzalla, Nigeria. Participants’ mid-stream urine specimens were sent for microscopy, culture, and antibiotics sensitivity. Data analysis was descriptive and inferential at 95% confidence level.
The prevalence of symptomatic UTI among pregnant women with urinary tract symptoms was 33.5% (78/233). Coliform bacilli were the most common isolates (82.0%) from participants’ urine. Ceftriaxone and ampicillin-cloxacillin had the highest (76.9%) and least (12.8%) sensitivity, respectively. Using urine culture as the standard, pyuria on microscopy showed a sensitivity of 43.6% and a specificity of 93.5% for predicting symptomatic UTI.
The prevalence of UTI among pregnant women with urinary tract symptoms was low, and the most common isolate was coliform bacilli. Though pyuria had reasonably good accuracy for diagnosing symptomatic UTI, it should not be used for this purpose because of the risks associated with misdiagnosis.

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