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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 347-354

Recurrent urinary tract infections in women: How promising is the use of probiotics?


Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Varsha Gupta
Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32-B, Chandigarh - 160 030
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_16_292

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) currently rank amongst the most prevalent bacterial infections, representing a major health hazard. UTIs in females usually start as vaginal infections and ascend to the urethra and bladder. Recurrent UTIs (rUTIs) can be defined as at least three episodes of UTI in 1 year or two episodes in 6 months. Various antibiotics have been the mainstay of therapy in ameliorating the incidence of UTIs, but recurrent infections continue to afflict many women. It necessitates the exploitation of alternative antimicrobial therapy. Probiotics have been shown to be effective in varied clinical trials for long-term preventions of rUTI. Because Escherichia coli is the primary pathogen involved in UTIs which spreads from the rectum to vagina and then ascends up the sterile urinary tract, improving the gut or vaginal flora will thus impact the urinary tract. Since a healthy vaginal microbiota is mainly dominated by Lactobacillus species, in this context, exogenously administered probiotics containing Lactobacilli play a pivotal role in reducing the risk of rUTI. The concept of artificially boosting the Lactobacilli numbers through probiotic administration has long been conceived but has been recently shown to be possible. Lactobacilli may especially be useful for women with a history of recurrent, complicated UTIs or on prolonged antibiotic use. Probiotics do not cause antibiotic resistance and may offer other health benefits due to vaginal re-colonisation with Lactobacilli. However, more comprehensive research is still needed, to recommend for probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics.






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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04