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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) or Genital Tract Infections (GTIs)? It's the Diagnostics That Count


Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) or Genital Tract Infections (GTIs)? It's the Diagnostics That Count

Payam Behzadi et al. GMS Hyg Infect Control.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and genital tract infections (GTIs) are both very common infectious diseases. Thus, accuracy and rapidity in recognition and treatment of sexually transmitted urogenital tract infections (ST-UGTIs) is a major concern in global public health systems. The application of reliable, accurate diagnostic tools is the key to definite detection, identification and treatment. This literature review focused on different characteristics of UGTIs in patients and the importance of diagnostic methodologies. The articles published and indexed from 1980 through October 2018 in the databases of PubMed and MEDLINE, as well as the Google Scholar web search engine, were collected and studied. MeSH keywords of "Sexual intercourse", "Urinary Tract Infections", "Genital Tract Infections" and "Toll-Like Receptors" were used for searching articles. Then, the proper articles (original and review articles) were subjected to a very rigorous selection process. The clinical symptoms and signs or asymptomatic properties of UTIs and GTIs are similar and often overlap. In many cases, the lack of suitable diagnostic techniques leads to misdiagnosed/undignosed GTIs and overdiagnosed UTIs. The outcome of poor diagnostics is failure of definite identification and treatment. The application of advanced techniques comprising PCR, microarray and next-generation sequencing promises to be more effective, together with the use of the microbial pattern of the individual's UGT to provide reliable detection, identification and definite treatment. This will be an option in the near future.

Keywords: genital tract infections; sexual intercourse; toll-like receptors; urinary tract infections.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Table 1
Table 1. Urogenital tract infections (UGTIs), microbial causative agents and related clinical properties and manifestations
Table 2
Table 2. The relationship between toll-like receptor (TLR) induction and microbial causative agents of UGTIs in humans
Table 3
Table 3. The population of UGT microbiota in healthy men and women
Figure 1
Figure 1. The situation, arrangement and relationship between pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and TLRs in UGTIs

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