Probiotic treatment for recurrent UTIs shows promise

May 5, 2011

An investigational intravaginal suppository probiotic may reduce the rate of recurrent urinary tract infections in women prone to the infections, say researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle.

An investigational intravaginal suppository probiotic may reduce the rate of recurrent urinary tract infections in women prone to the infections, say researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (2011; 52:1212-7), young women with a history of recurrent urinary tract infections received antibiotics for acute urinary tract infections. They were then randomized to receive either a Lactobacillus crispatus intravaginal suppository probiotic (Lactin-V), or placebo for 5 days, then once per week for 10 weeks. Of the 100 women who participated in the study, 50 received the probiotic and 50 received the placebo.

The results suggest that the probiotic may reduce the rate of recurrent urinary tract infections. Seven of the women who received the agent had at least one urinary tract infection, compared with 13 in the placebo group.

"Larger efficacy trials of this novel preventive method for recurrent urinary tract infections are warranted to determine if use of vaginal Lactobacillus could replace long-term antimicrobial preventive treatments," said lead author Ann Stapleton, MD.