Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among girls and young women who are healthy and have anatomically normal urinary tracts. These infections are a main source of morbidity and health-care costs in this population. The interaction between specific infecting bacteria and urinary tract epithelium characteristics underlies the pathogenesis of this disease. Several pathogen-related factors predispose people to recurrent UTI, including periurethral bacterial colonisation and Escherichia coli virulence. Host behavioural risk factors include voiding dysfunction, high intercourse frequency, and oral contraceptive and spermicide use. The role of vesicoureteral reflux in recurrent childhood UTI is probably overestimated in the medical literature and is important only in a small group of children with high-grade reflux. Family pedigree analysis suggests a familial genetic predisposition for UTI among young females. Animal models show the multigenic nature of recurrent UTI. Putative candidate genes for the disease include ABH blood groups, interleukin-8 receptor (CXCR1), the human leucocyte antigen locus, toll-like receptors, tumour necrosis factor, and Tamm-Horsfall protein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases