Treat Urinary Tract Infections Without Antibiotics?

For many years symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI) have been treated with antibiotics. Anytime a UTI is suspected urine should be sent for culture from either a clean catch (men) or catheterized (women) specimen. The lab will study the urine and if a bacteria is grown will report which antibiotics are best to treat the infection.

In some complicated cases antibiotic coverage is slim to none. These people are very hard to treat at home. In order to find new antibiotics that are needed to treat a complicated UTI a number of researchers are looking at new drugs and methods.

Ernst and his associates reported in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry a new type of drug called a FimH antagonist, that would attack the fimbriae of many bacteria and eliminate their ability to hang onto the walls of the urinary system. Fimbriae are like little microscopic hairs that stick to tissues. If bacteria cannot stick to the lining of the bladder or ureter, they are unlikely to resist being flushed away. These drugs are called anti-adhesion molecules, and so far have been shown to prevent a UTI from forming in mice at reasonable drug levels.

It will be a long time until something like this is available for you and me, but it is interesting and promising….

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