Potential preventive strategies and therapies in urinary tract infection
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There are perhaps five strategies either presently advocated or under investigation for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI): antibiotics, including natural peptides; functional foods; vaccines; probiotics; and miscellaneous, including avoidance of spermicides and maintenance of good hygiene. It is not possible to state the proportion of patients using antibiotics versus foods such as cranberry or using alternative approaches such as avoidance of spermicides. The majority of women who are referred to specialists will be prescribed long-term, low-dose antibiotics. However, given the magnitude of the problem, it is safe to state that large numbers of women are at least experimenting with alternative remedies such as drinking of cranberry juice or ingestion of herbal remedies with a view to enhancing their immune response. Vaccine development remains a long way from human use and has yet to be developed for organisms other than Escherichia coli. The use of probiotics to restore the normal vaginal flora and provide a competitive bacterial barrier to pathogens is close to becoming available as an alternative preventive approach. The next decade should see the introduction of new methods for reduction of the high incidence of UTI and better management of recurring urogenital infections.
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