Probiotics in the prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in children
Recurrent urinary tract infections are a serious clinical problem both in adults and children. Febrile episodes of recurrent urinary tract infections may lead to the formation of renal scars and development of chronic kidney disease. Traditionally, management involved antibiotic prophylaxis introduced after a first febrile episode. Recently, however, the indications for antibiotic therapy have been narrowed down to treat cases of recurrent urinary tract infections and disorders which pose a significant risk for their development. In the current era of the ubiquitous use of antibiotics, bacterial resistance is an increasingly alarming problem, hence the recent search for alternative methods of prophylactic treatment. For many reasons, probiotics appear to be an excellent alternative. The microbiome of the human gastrointestinal tract and urogenital tract consists of a multitude of helpful probiotic bacteria, including the especially beneficial Lactobacillus strain. A significant relationship has been confirmed to exist between infections of the urinary tract and a decreased number of lactobacilli. Their antibacterial properties include their ability to secrete numerous substances inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and to form a biofilm preventing the adhesion of uropathogens to the epithelium of the urinary tract as well as, indirectly, their immunomodulatory potential. This study is aimed at discussing the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness of probiotics in the prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections, with special emphasis on the paediatric population. Probiotics make an excellent and safe alternative for the traditional prophylactic antibiotic therapy.