Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
The "urinary tract" consists of the kidneys, the ureters, the
bladder, and urethra. These organs together produce, store, and
Approximately 8 to 10 million people in the United States
develop a UTI each year. Women are more prone to develop the
The urinary tract can be infected from above - by bacteria
entering the kidneys through the bloodstream, or from below - by
bacteria entering the urethra and traveling upward.
In adults and older children, infection most often originates in
Bacteria called Escherichia coli (E. coli) which is normally
present in the bowel cause about 80% of urinary tract infections.
Other bacteria that cause urinary tract infections include
Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterbacter, Psedomonas, Group D strep,
Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Chlamydia trachomatis.
Bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and then multiply in
the lining of the urethra. If not treated, the infection progresses
to the bladder, ureters, and finally affects the kidneys.
Symptoms of UTI are:
Burning sensation during urination
Frequent urge to urinate
Sudden pressure to urinate immediately (sometimes
incontinence may occur)
Having the sensation to urinate but being unable to do
Cloudy urine which may be foul smelling
Blood present in the urine
A fever, vomiting or flank pain may mean that the infection
has reached the kidneys
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. The type of drug used and the
duration of treatment depends on the specifics of the patient, the
symptoms and sometimes the type of bacteria that is detected by
tests done on the urine samples.