Incidence of Urinary Tract Infections in Newborns with Spina Bifida-Is Antibiotic Prophylaxis Necessary?

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

PURPOSE: Urinary tract infections commonly occur in patients with spina bifida and pose a risk of renal scarring. Routine antibiotic prophylaxis has been utilized in newborns with spina bifida to prevent urinary tract infections. We hypothesized that prophylaxis can safely be withheld in newborns with spina bifida until clinical assessment allows for risk stratification. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Newborns with myelomeningocele at 9 institutions were prospectively enrolled in the UMPIRE study and managed by a standardized protocol with a strict definition of urinary tract infection. Patient data were collected regarding details of reported urinary tract infection, baseline renal ultrasound findings, vesicoureteral reflux, use of clean intermittent catheterization and circumcision status in boys. Risk ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated using log-binomial models. RESULTS: From February 2015 through August 2019 data were available on 299 newborns (50.5% male). During the first 4 months of life, 48 newborns (16.1%) were treated for urinary tract infection with 23 (7.7%) having positive cultures; however, only 12 (4.0%) met the strict definition of urinary tract infection. Infants with grade 3-4 hydronephrosis had an increased risk of urinary tract infection compared to infants with no hydronephrosis (RR=10.1; 95% CI=2.8, 36.3). Infants on clean intermittent catheterization also had an increased risk of urinary tract infection (RR=3.3; 95% CI=1.0, 10.5). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of a culture positive, symptomatic urinary tract infection among newborns with spina bifida in the first 4 months of life was low. Patients with high grades of hydronephrosis or those on clean intermittent catheterization had a significantly greater incidence of urinary tract infection. Our findings suggest that routine antibiotic prophylaxis may not be necessary for most newborns with spina bifida.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wallis, MC; Paramsothy, P; Newsome, K; Williams, T; Routh, JC; Joseph, DB; Cheng, E; Tu, D; Austin, JC; Tanaka, ST; Walker, WO; Smith, KA; Baum, MA; Wiener, JS

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 206 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 126 - 132

PubMed ID

  • 33683941

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8268042

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-3792

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/JU.0000000000001690


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States