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The prevalence of urinary tract infection in children with severe acute malnutrition: a narrative review

Authors Uwaezuoke SN

Received 29 February 2016

Accepted for publication 26 May 2016

Published 4 October 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 121—127

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PHMT.S107421

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Ahmed Elhassanin

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Laurens Holmes, Jr


Video abstract presented by Samuel N Uwaezuoke.

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Samuel N Uwaezuoke

Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology Firm, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria


Abstract: This article aims to review the current evidence which shows that the prevalence of urinary tract infection (UTI) has been increasing in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). UTI remains one of the most common causes of febrile illness in pediatric practice. Most studies conducted among hospitalized children with complicated SAM have reported high prevalence rates of UTI. Clearly, the knowledge of baseline risk of UTI can help clinicians to make informed diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in these children. From the global reports reviewed in this article, UTI prevalence rates range from as low as 6% to as high as 37% in developing countries, while the most common bacterial isolates from urine cultures are Gram-negative coliform organisms such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species. These findings form the basis for the current diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for clinicians managing children with complicated SAM. With the reported high prevalence of UTI among these children and concerns over antibiotic resistance, more extensive data are required using standardized microbiological methods. Thus, the assessment of the performance of urine dipsticks and microscopy against the gold standard urine culture is an important step toward strengthening the evidence for the therapeutic guidelines for UTI in children with SAM.

Keywords: protein energy malnutrition, bacterial infection, urinary tract, therapeutic guidelines

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