World Journal of Urology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 28–32 | Cite as

Probiotics to prevent urinary tract infections: the rationale and evidence

  • Gregor ReidEmail author
  • Andrew W. Bruce
Topic Paper


For over 30 years, urologists have recognized in females, that urinary pathogens almost always infect the host through ascension from the rectum, vagina to the urethra and bladder. Likewise, the Lactobacillus organisms that predominate in the vagina of healthy women, spread from the rectum and perineum and form a barrier in the vagina to bladder entry by uropathogens. The concept of artificially boosting the lactobacilli numbers through probiotic instillation has long been conceived, but only in recent years shown to be possible. Not all lactobacilli are effective, and to date clinical efficacy only exists for Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri B-54 and RC-14. These strains are only commercially available in Austria, and therefore for most urologists, while some probiotic organisms may reduce the recurrences of bladder cancer or oxaluria, no probiotics can be recommended widely to prevent UTI at present.


Probiotics Urinary tract infections 



The assistance provided by the Ontario Challenge Fund, NSERC and CIHR is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Research and Development Centre for ProbioticsLawson Health Research InstituteLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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