Quick Note: Defining the connection between UTIs and antibiotic resistance

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Urinary tract infections affect approximately 3 percent of children in the United States and account for more than 1 million visits to pediatricians’ offices every year.

Although antimicrobial prophylaxis has been proven effective in preventing recurrent UTI in children specifically with vesicoureteral reflux, there remains an increased antibiotic resistance in children treated with antibiotics.

A recent study titled “Antimicrobial Resistance and Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence” sought to further investigate the relationship of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance among children with vesicoureteral reflux. The paper, published in Pediatrics by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), shows that although resistance was more common among children on antibiotic prophylaxis, antibiotic resistance decreased the longer the children stayed on prophylaxis.

This surprising finding suggests that children who require extended prophylaxis may not be at as high a risk of resistant infection as commonly thought.

According to Caleb Nelson, MD, MPH director of Quality and Safety and Attending Urologist in the Department of Urology at Boston Children’s and lead author of the study, the research also found that  “prophylaxis with Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is equally effective if the index UTI was resistant or susceptible to Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.”

Nelson adds, “This is important because it gives pediatricians and urologists more flexibility in choosing which agent to use for prophylaxis.”

Read the paper published in Pediatrics.