The efficacy of probiotics in prevention of urinary tract infection in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Pediatr Urol. 2017 Dec;13(6):581-591. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2017.08.018. Epub 2017 Oct 9.


Background: A consensus has not been reached yet about the efficacy of probiotics in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children. This systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to assess the efficacy of probiotics in prevention UTI in children.

Methods: The present study was designed based on guidelines for systematic reviews of clinical trials. Two independent reviewers performed an extensive search in the Medline, Embase, Web of Science and Scopus electronic databases up to the end of 2016. The summery of eligible studies was assessed independently by two reviewers and recorded in the data extraction form. Finally, a pooled relative risk (RR) was reported with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI).

Results: Data from 10 studies were entered in the present meta-analysis. Probiotic therapy did not have any beneficial effect on the incidence of UTI (RR = 0.94; 95% CI 0.85-1.03; p = 0.19) and its recurrence (RR = 0.93; 95% CI 0.85-1.02; p = 0.14). Subgroup analyses showed that probiotics as monotherapy do not have any beneficial effects on prevention of UTI (RR = 0.96; 95% CI 0.89-1.04; p = 0.31). However, the incidence of UTI is reduced if probiotics are used as adjuvant therapy to antibiotics (RR = 0.92; 95% CI 0.85-0.99; p = 0.02).

Conclusion: The present meta-analysis showed that probiotics did not have a beneficial effect in reducing the incidence or recurrence of UTI. Only a moderate efficacy was seen when a probiotic was used as adjuvant therapy to antibiotics.

Keywords: Pediatrics; Probiotics; Prophylaxis; Urinary tract infection.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*