List Five Bacteria That Can Cause Urinary Tract Infection

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Ever felt pain or irritation while you peed? If the problem is older than a week, it is likely a Urinary Tract Infection. Consult your doctor as early as possible.

UTI is one of the most common bacterial infections that affects anyone at any age.
About 90% of UTIs are caused by bacteria traveling through the opening of the urethra and into the bladder.

Women are more likely to develop UTIs as compared to men. If an infection is limited to the bladder, it can be painful and annoying. However, If it spreads to the kidneys, the case can worsen. Most of the top five bacteria are associated with urinary tract infections.

Here is a list of five bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, exploring their characteristics and significance.

list five bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection

Why do urinary tract infections happen?

The fecal matter contains the bacterium E. coli. This bacterium generally resides in our intestines. But if it enters the urinary tract, it can cause severe irritation and cause UTi. Other causes can include: 

    1. Women who use spermicide condoms more than five times a week
    2. Holding urine for a long time
    3. Use of sex toys

UTI is not contagious like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it worsens while having sex. UTIs are caused by bacteria that come into contact with the urethra.

What are the Five bacteria that cause urinary tract infections?

The five bacteria that cause urinary tract infections are:

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

What are the causes of UTIs?

E. coli is the most common infection seen in 90% of bladder infections. The following factors can increase the chances of developing a UTI:

Along with the above-mentioned symptoms, the person may also complain of fever, nausea, or vomiting, which is an indicator that the infection has reached the kidneys, so it becomes necessary to consult the doctor for a further treatment plan.

Some women, especially older women, may have very few or no symptoms of infections. A sudden increase in urine, or if the urine leaks involuntarily, a urinary tract infection would be the cause for it.

What is the diagnosis of a UTI?

If you have UTI symptoms, you should visit the doctor for further treatment plans. He may advise doing a urine test in which the presence of pus cells, bacterial residue (nitrates), and traces of blood can be detected. If the test is positive, the doctor will discuss the appropriate treatment.

Urine may also be sent for culture and sensitivity tests. A culture test identifies which kind of bacteria is growing in the bladder and urine and helps determine which antibiotic is most effective.

What is the treatment plan for the UTI?

For uncomplicated UTIs, three to seven days of antibiotics are prescribed to give relief. A doctor may also prescribe pyridium, a medication that reduces bladder pain while the antibiotic is taking effect.

For more serious infections, any treatment plan may extend up to 10–14 days.

For whoever has a history of more urine infections in a year, a doctor may prescribe a small dose of antibiotics daily or with intercourse for several months, which allows the bladder to heal.

Vaginal estrogen cream is recommended for postmenopausal women to prevent recurrent UTIs.

How do I do a self-check for urinary tract infections?

Perform a urine test at home to check for a UTI. Self-diagnosis is done with a urine test strip, which is available in medical shops.

First, collect the urine in a clean and empty container. Wet the urine test strip by holding the strip in urine for 1-2 minutes. The time to do the wet strip is written on the label taken off the strip. By using the chart in the home test kit, you can check for urinary tract infections, if any.

If people are not able to conclude UTI from urine test strips, they directly visit the doctor for further diagnosis.

What are the risk factors for UTI?

What are the risk factors for UTI?

1. Female anatomy

Women have a shorter urethra than men. As a result, there is less distance for bacteria to travel to reach the bladder

2. Sexual activity

Sexually active women are more likely to contract UTIs. Having a new sexual partner also increases the risk of infection.

3. Specific types of birth control methods

Using spermicidal agents increases the risk of UTIs. Using diaphragms for birth control may also increase the risk of UTI

4. Menopause

After menopause, the decline in estrogen levels causes changes in the urinary tract and these changes may increase the risk of UTI

5. Urinary tract problem

When a child has Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), the backflow of urine through the urinary tract system increases the risk of urinary tract infection.

6. Blockage of the urinary tract

Kidney stones or enlarged prostate reduce the flow of urine, which increases the risk of UTI

7. Suppressed immune system

Diabetes or any other disease which impairs the immune system of the body increases the risk of UTI

8. Catheter use

The catheter is used for people who cannot urinate on their own. The use of catheters increases the risk of UTIs. It is also used for a person who shows neurological symptoms like paralysis or who has difficulty controlling urine.

What are the complications of a UTI?

Women are more prone to repeated infections.

A life-threatening complication of an infection. This is the risk factor through which the infection travels from the urinary tract to the kidneys.

What are the preventive measures for UTIs?

Drink plenty of liquids and water

Drinking plenty of water helps the urine dilute, which leads to urination more often. This helps to remove the bacteria before the infection begins. Doctors may suggest drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.

Practice good hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent UTIs. This is most important for women who have a vagina. As the urethra is shorter, it becomes easier for the E. Coli bacteria to move from the rectum back into the body. It is necessary to wipe with a clean towel from front to back after the bowel movement to avoid the chance of infection.

During the menstrual cycle, it’s good to change your period products, like pads and tampons, regularly. Avoid using any deodorant on your vagina.

Empty your bladder before and after having sex.

Sex can introduce bacteria into the ureter. Urinating before and after sex helps flush out the bacteria present.

If you are not able to pass urine after sex, wash the area with warm water to reduce the chances of infection 

Change the birth control method.

Avoid the use of diaphragms and condoms treated with spermicide, which aggravates bacterial growth 

Change your clothing. 

Tight-fitting clothes create a moist environment, which helps with bacterial growth. You can try loose-fitting clothes and cotton undergarments to prevent moisture around the urethra.


If a woman is postmenopausal, the doctor may suggest vaginal cream, which includes estrogen. These creams help reduce the risk of developing UTI by changing the pH level of the vagina.

Over-the-counter (OTC) supplements,

which include cranberry extracts and probiotics, help prevent UTIs. Consult with the doctor before starting any of the supplements.

What specific antibodies are used for the treatment of urinary tract infections?


Urinary tract infections are infections of the urinary system. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of infections, and symptoms go away in a few days. Take a full course of antibiotics for complete relief from the infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Consult your doctor if you have symptoms of a UTI. Proper diagnosis and treatment are needed for the symptoms present. Doctors may change the treatment protocol if the symptoms worsen.

If the following symptoms are present, an emergency is necessary.

    1. Fever 
    2. Vomiting
    3. Back pain;

Urinary tract infections are a more general type of infection. There are many parts of the urinary tract. UTI is a term related to an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract.

A bladder infection is a specific infection that affects the bladder and causes inflammation. It is also called cystitis.

Not all urinary tract infections result in bladder infections. It is important to diagnose and treat UTIs to prevent infection from spreading to other areas of the urinary tract. The infection can spread widely, not only to the bladder but also to the kidneys.

Kidney infections are more complicated and are also called pyelonephritis.

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