Urine Infection (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) facts
- What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What causes a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) risk factors?
- Common urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms in women, men, and children
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms and signs in women, men, and children?
- Is there a link between urinary tract infection (UTI) and pregnancy?
- How is a urinary tract infection (UTI) diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are common antibiotics used to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Are there any home remedies for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are possible complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What is the prognosis for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Is it possible to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with a vaccine?
- Can a urinary tract infection (UTI) be prevented?
- Is it possible to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with diet and supplements?
What are possible complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Most UTIs cause no complications if they spontaneously resolve quickly (a few days) or if treated early in the infection with appropriate medications. However, there are a number of complications that can occur if the UTI becomes chronic or rapidly advances. Chronic infections may result in urinary strictures, abscesses, fistulas, kidney stones, and, rarely, kidney damage or bladder cancer. Rapid advancement of UTIs can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, sepsis, and death. Pregnant females with untreated UTIs may develop premature delivery and a low birth weight for the infant and run the risks of rapid advancement of the infection.
What is the prognosis for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A good prognosis is usual for spontaneously resolved and quickly treated UTIs. Even patients that have rapidly developing symptoms and early pyelonephritis can have a good prognosis if quickly and adequately treated. The prognosis begins to decline if the UTI is not quickly recognized or treated. Elderly and immunosuppressed patients may not have the UTI recognized early; their prognosis may range from fair to poor, depending on how much damage is done to the urinary tract or if complications like sepsis occur. Like adults, most adequately treated children will have a good prognosis. Children and adults with recurrent UTIs may develop complications and a worse prognosis; recurrent UTIs may be a symptom of an underlying problem with the urinary tract structure. These patients should be referred to a specialist (urologist) for further evaluation.
Is it possible to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with a vaccine?
Currently, there are no commercially available vaccines for UTIs, either recurrent or first-time infections. One of the problems in developing a vaccine is that so many different organisms can cause infection; a single vaccine would be difficult to synthesize to cover them all. Even with E. coli causing about most infections, the subtle changes in antigenic structures that vary from strain to strain further complicates vaccine development even for E. coli. Researchers are still investigating ways to overcome the problems in UTI vaccine development.
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