The Vaginal Microbiota and Urinary Tract Infection

Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Dec;4(6):10.1128/microbiolspec.UTI-0025-2016. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.UTI-0025-2016.


The vagina is a key anatomical site in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, serving as a potential reservoir for infecting bacteria and a site at which interventions may decrease the risk of UTI. The vaginal microbiota is a dynamic and often critical factor in this pathogenic interplay, because changes in the characteristics of the vaginal microbiota resulting in the loss of normally protective Lactobacillus spp. increase the risk of UTI. These alterations may result from the influence of estrogen deficiency, antimicrobial therapy, contraceptives, or other causes. Interventions to reduce adverse effects on the vaginal microbiota and/or to restore protective lactobacilli may reduce the risks of UTI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Dysbiosis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control
  • Vagina / microbiology*