The E. coli is responsible for many uncomplicated cases of cystitis in females, particularly the young women. The bacteria are usually harmless with its origin being the intestines. When the bacteria invade the urinary tract, they can colonize the bladder and result in infections. Enterococci, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus are other forms of bacteria that are responsible for between 5 to15% of urinary tract infections, particularly at an early age in females (Irwin & Rippe 2008, p. 6-7). Some rare bacteria that cause some forms of urinary tract infections are the Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum.
They are typically harmless organisms. Citrobacter also associates with some complicated forms of urinary tract infections that relate to structural or physical conditions. Other forms of bacteria that cause complicated and severe urinary tract infections are the Enterobacter, aeruginosa, and the Serratia species bacteria including the Enterococcus species. Some of the major risk factors that associate with urinary tract infections include; genetic predisposition, behavioural factors, a frequency of urination, urologic structural abnormalities, and the antibacterial activity of prostatic fluid (in males). Other predisposing factors include; the lack of personal hygiene, use of birth control pills, diabetes, pregnancy conditions, hypertension, immune-suppression, low concentration of lactobacilli in older females, stone formation, and instrumentation such as catheterization during medical procedures.
Research studies indicate that females are more susceptible to these infections than their male counterparts. Re-infections tend to occur more in women than in men because the urethra is longer in men and shorter in women. The use of contraceptive spermicides and diaphragm are other risk factors that make women more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
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