The bacteria that cause urinary tract infections typically enter the bladder via the urethra. However, infection may also occur via the blood or lymph. It is believed that the bacteria are usually transmitted to the urethra from the bowel, with females at greater risk due to their anatomy. After gaining entry to the bladder, E.Coli is able to attach to the bladder wall and form a biofilm that resists the body's immune response.
In primary care, UTIs make up between 1-3% of all GP consultations with the condition affecting women significantly more than men at a ratio of 50:1 in the age group below 60 years. 80% of urinary tract infections occurring in hospital can be traced to indwelling urinary catheters.
Treatment with antimicrobials aims to eradicate the bacteria causing infection. The chosen antimicrobials depend on extent of infection (uncomplicated or complicated), common local pathogens, and resistance patterns. Examples of antibiotics for uncomplicated UTI include: • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole • Fluoroquinolones • Nitrofurantoin
A new treatment approach for tackling urinary tract infection has been developed by researchers at the University of Southampton testing a treatment with a long established history in herbal practice. Antibiotic resistance is rising and it is a Department of Health priority to try and reduce prescribing antibiotics where possible. Resistance to antibiotics is a particular problem with cystitis (urinary tract infection).