Global epidemiology of urinary tract infections

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2016 Feb;29(1):73-9. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000228.


Purpose of review: Both in the community and hospital setting, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. Initial appropriate empirical treatment requires a good knowledge of epidemiological data. In this review, the most recent global epidemiological data of UTIs have been summarized.

Recent findings: Community-associated UTI (CAUTI) prevalence is 0.7% and the main risk factors are age, history of UTI, sexual activity and diabetes. The most common pathogen is Escherichia coli and resistance rates to common antibiotics depend very much on the geographical location. The lowest observed resistance was for fosfomycin (range: 0-2.9%), nitrofurantoin (range: 0-4.4%) and mecillinam (range: 0-4%). Healthcare-associated UTI (HAUTI) frequency among HCAIs is 12.9 (confidence interval: 10.2-16%), 19.6 and 24% in the United States, Europe and developing countries, respectively. In urology departments, the prevalence is 5.1%. Resistance to almost all antibiotics in HAUTIs is above 20% and there is a significant geographical variation. Community onset HAUTIs bacterial spectrum is similar to hospital onset HAUTIs and different from CAUTIs.

Summary: It is challenging to provide with an exact frequency of UTIs. Both CAUTI and HAUTI frequency, pathogen spectrum and resistance rates vary according to geographical setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / therapeutic use
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / microbiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary