Water consumption and urinary tract infections: an in vitro study

Int Urol Nephrol. 2016 Jun;48(6):949-54. doi: 10.1007/s11255-016-1262-7. Epub 2016 Mar 18.


Objectives: To address to a better understanding of whether increased water consumption is associated with beneficial effects of urinary tract infections prophylaxis and treatment, and if so, the mechanism involved in this process.

Methods: Models of the catheterized bladder were infected with Escherichia coli. Artificial urine was supplied at various flow rates and various concentrations to separately assess the "flushing effect" and "dilution effect" of increased water consumption on catheter blockage time, encrustation formation, and bacterial growth.

Results: There were no statistical significances regarding catheter blockage time (P = 0.92), encrustation formation, and bacterial growth among bladder models supplied with various flow rates. When the flow rate was set as 1 ml/min, however, there showed significant decrease trend of the time to blockage (P = 0.0005), encrustation formation, and bacterial growth as the concentration of the artificial urine increased except the twofold-concentration urine group.

Conclusions: Increased water consumption is associated with beneficial effects of urinary tract infection prophylaxis and treatment, and dilution effect of bacteria nutrition in the urine is at least partly involved in this process if not all, rather than the "flushing effect". Considering the flaws and the in vitro design of the current study, however, an in vivo study is warranted.

Keywords: Adjuvant therapy; Escherichia coli; Prophylaxis; Urinary tract infections; Water consumption.

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections / etiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Drinking*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / etiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Catheters / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Water


  • Water