Antibiotic therapy and UTIs
Warwick Medical School
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections encountered in individuals of all ages. They affect over 4 million people in the UK every year, and account for 1-3% of GP consultations. Whilst most cases of UTI are successfully treated with a short course of antibiotics, this is not always the case. When treatment fails, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the blood. This can result in individuals developing sepsis and requiring hospital admission.
Indeed, UTIs result in thousands of deaths every year. It is unclear how often initial antibiotic treatment fails in those with UTI, and whether there has been a change in failure rate over time. Furthermore, it may be that certain groups of individuals are particularly at risk of treatment failure.
In this project, Dr Saran Shantikumar, Clinical Lecturer in Public Health at Warwick Medical School will examine how often initial antibiotic therapy is unsuccessful in treating UTIs. The team will also look at how often treatment failure results in individuals developing more serious infections or being admitted to hospital. Finally, they will explore whether individuals with certain features, such as long-term medical conditions, are more likely to experience treatment failure. In order to do this work, the team will examine the general practice records of 500,000 individuals aged 40 to 69 years, which have been collected as part of a large national study (“UK Biobank”).
The results of this work may help identify those people who are more likely to develop complications following a urinary tract infection. This information would be of critical value to GPs, who would then have an opportunity to more appropriately manage people attending with a UTI, subsequently reducing the risk of complications.