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Recurrent urinary tract infections in women: risk factors, etiology, pathogenesis and prophylaxis.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections in women, often as a recurrent disease. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the most common pathotype of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) found among patients with UTI. The human intestinal can act as a reservoir of UPEC, with the female urethra being infected by fecal material containing UPEC. Adhesion of bacteria to the epithelial cells of urogenital mucosa is an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of UTI. Alternative nonantibiotic based approaches, such as mechanical barrier protection of the intestinal mucosa have been proposed to reduce bacterial adherence to intestinal epithelium, bacteria proliferation and decrease of the load of UPEC in the intestinal lumen and in the fecal material.