We determined the incidence and source of bacterial colonization of the bladder in 18 consecutive renal transplant recipients who required postoperative indwelling urethral catheterization and who were in reverse isolation. The patients were catheterized for an average of 6 days. Bladder bacteriuria occurred in 5 patients (27%): 2 owing to urethral organisms, 2 after breaks in the drainage system and 1 owing to an unidentified source. The drainage bag urine was contaminated rarely and never was a source of bladder bacteriuria. The data suggest that bacterial contamination of the drainage bag may be an infrequent source of bladder bacteriuria in patients with limited contact with a hospital environment.
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