Acute cystitis is one of the most commonly encountered bacterial infections and is responsible for substantial morbidity and high medical costs in the United States and across the globe. Though generally considered to be self-limiting and easily treated with antibiotics, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are often incompletely resolved by antibiotic therapy and frequently recur. This is in part due to the ability of uropathogenic bacteria to invade, replicate, and persist within host epithelial cells. The biological complexity of these infections combined with a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant pathogens highlight the need for alternative therapies. In this review we examine current management strategies for UTIs, as well as emerging treatments, including novel compounds that block bacterial interactions with the urothelium and vaccines focused on preventing both acute and recurrent infections.
Keywords: UPEC; antibiotic resistance; cystitis; recurrent UTI; vaccine.