UTI data can help guide treatment

Information about previous UTIs can help guide decisions about treatment of subsequent infections, results of an Irish study suggest.

Akke Vellinga and colleagues from the National University of Ireland, Galway, examined samples from 3,413 patients who had suffered recurrent bacterial infections.

They found there was an 85 per cent chance that patients with ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli in a previous sample would be re-infected with ampicillin-resistant E coli in the next three months.

The probability of a re-infection resistant to ciprofloxacin or trimethoprim was 84 per cent and 78 per cent respectively, but 20 per cent for a UTI resistant to nitrofurantoin.

The researchers said the results could help GPs conserve broad-spectrum antibiotics by using data from previous episodes of UTI to prescribe narrow-spectrum agents such as trimethioprim, even when resistance levels are high.

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