Treating urinary tract infections in the era of antibiotic resistance

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INTRODUCTION: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are associated with 25-40% of antibiotics consumed in primary care and are, therefore, driving antibiotic resistance. The worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance especially in Escherichia coli has complicated the treatment choices for UTIs and absence of effective oral antibiotics may lead to increasing need for more effective treatments.

AREAS COVERED: In this review we focus on the importance of the correct diagnosis of UTI as based on proof of urinary pathogens in the urine and discuss diagnostic measures including microscopy, dipstick, and culture. Antibiotic treatment can often await diagnostic measures with pain relief such as ibuprofen. The risk of an uncomplicated UTI leading to pyelonephritis is low (1-2%) and presence of bacteria in the bladder leaves some time for the immune system to react. Three antibiotics are recommended as based on their activity, and low propensity to select for resistance, i.e. nitrofurantoin, fosfomycin, and pivmecillinam, and in general, 3-5 days of treatment will suffice.

EXPERT OPINION: Understanding the usual benign course of uUTIs can help reduce antibiotic treatment in many cases, e.g. starting treatment by pain relief and awaiting the course of infection without antibiotics. Better rapid tests in primary care are urgently needed to enforce such policies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1301-1308
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 373418752