Urinary tract infection is a term that refers to the infection of the urinary tract by certain infectious organisms (ie, bacteria). Bacteriuria is basically the presence of bacterium in the urine, which may be symptomatic or asymptomatic.
Urinary tract infections are often classified as acute or chronic, hospital-acquired (nosocomial) or community-acquired, uncomplicated or complicated, upper (pyelonephritis) or lower (cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis), symptomatic or asymptomatic, and de novo or recurrent.
The spread of infection to the urinary tract is either through an upwards route, from the fecal reservoir through the urethra into the bladder or by direct extension from adjunct organisms through the lymphatic system; the latter is true in the case of severe bowel obstruction.
Acute urinary tract infection can be diagnosed by first collecting urine in a sterilized bottle through suprapubic aspiration, urethral catheterization, especially in females, or by voided urine (washing of the genital area before voiding is required to prevent contamination).
The urine sample taken is then screened for bacteriuria, pyuria, and hematuria. Dipstick tests and microscopic testing of the urine can be performed. The former may be informative but it less sensitive than the latter.
To test for the presence of acute urinary tract infection, bacteria from the urine samples are tested and cultured against various antibiotics.
This will help to determine the drug that works best against the bacteria. Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment. Besides urinalysis, radiologic tests are not often prescribed in routine assessment but this may be necessary in some more complicated cases.
Imaging may be required for the types of acute urinary tract infection that are linked with uretral strictures, urinary calculi, urinary tract tumors, ureteral reflux, and urinary tract diversions.
As a general treatment regimen for acute urinary tract infection, the patient is advised to consume lots of liquids; drinking water helps cleanse bacteria from the urinary tract.
As supplements, cranberry juice and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may also help slow down the growth of some bacteria because it acidifies the urine.
Avoiding liquor, coffee, and spicy foods may also prove helpful. To manage pain, a heating pad and pain relief medication may be prescribed.
Acute urinary tract infection is most often medicated with anti-bacterial drugs. The type of antibacterial drug and duration of treatment are dependent on several things such as the severity of the infection or the type of organism causing the infection.
The sensitivity test is typically performed to select the most efficient drug for treatment of acute urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections sometimes recur. Through further study and research, scientists may, in the future, be able to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infection by developing a vaccine against it.
It was previously found from several studies in different areas of research that lack of immunoglobulins, a specific type of proteins that prevent infections, in women and children making them more prone to repeatedly acquire urinary tract infections.
The presence of enough and normal amounts or levels of immunoglobulins in the genital tracts and urinary tracts of children and women make them less likely to get urinary tract infections. Therefore, immunoglobulin treatment may be one solution that can be posted.