Clinical Review

Health Care–Associated Urinary Tract Infections: Prevention and Management



What is the duration of therapy for CA-UTI in SCI, and how can antibiotic stewardship principles be applied in this patient population?

Antibiotic therapy is indicated for a duration of 7 days if there is prompt resolution of symptoms, or for a total of 10 to 14 days if the response is delayed, regardless of whether the patient remains with a UC.5 Antibiotic stewardship is very important to reduce the risk for developing drug resistance in this high-risk population. Methods such as prescriber education practices, institution protocols, guideline implementation, auditing and feedback, restriction and reauthorization practices, computer-assisted programs, de-escalation or streamlining, and antibiotic cycling or dosage optimization have all been shown to assist in antibiotic stewardship in UTIs.54

Candida UTI

What is the initial evaluation for a patient with candiduria?

The workup for candiduria hinges on determining whether the candiduria likely represents contamination, colonization, or infection; certain predisposing risk factors are associated with Candida UTI (Table 4).55-57 The most important aspect to candiduria is the patient’s clinical status and comorbid conditions.58 Among funguria, Candida species are the most common and represent 95% of organisms isolated on urine cultures (Table 5).59 Candiduria is usually present in those with significant comorbidities and rarely is associated with healthy individuals.59,60 Candiduria is increasing in prevalence among hospitalized patients, representing 22% to 40% of all nosocomial UTIs.59,60 Markers in the urine (leukocyte esterase, colony count of culture growth, presence or absence of Candida casts and pseudohyphae) cannot alone differentiate colonization from infection.55 When candiduria is discovered in a patient with symptoms related to UTI in the setting of predisposing risk factors, it should be considered a real infection until proven otherwise.

Predisposing Risk Factors for Candiduria/Funguria

In a situation where an asymptomatic patient without an indwelling UC has Candida species isolated from a urine culture, a repeat culture (clean-catch midstream sample) should be performed to assess for a likely contaminated collection.55 If the patient has an indwelling UC then it should be exchanged and urine collected from the fresh catheter.61 When candiduria is found in healthy asymptomatic adults, it is most commonly associated with poor collection techniques or postcollection contamination.59 If candiduria persists in an asymptomatic patient, the patient should be assessed for predisposing factors. This includes checking hemoglobin A1C for developing diabetes and renal ultrasound looking for urolithiasis, renal abscess, hydronephrosis, and fungus ball. Postvoid residual urinary retention should also be ruled out with bladder ultrasound. Treatment of predisposing factors can lead to resolution of candiduria without antifungal treatment, and a urine culture should be repeated (1 to 2 weeks later).61 Asymptomatic patients lacking any predisposing factors can be observed with repeat urine cultures in 1 to 3 months.61

Common Candida Species Responsible for Candiduria and Urinary Tract Infection

Candiduria may actually represent candidemia in those patients who have a predisposing risk factor for disseminated candidiasis. These risk factors include central venous catheters, administration of total parental nutrition, antibiotic use (especially broad spectrum), critical illness, recent surgical intervention (especially intra-abdominal), acute renal failure, nasogastric tube use, and active gastric acid suppression (ie, proton pump inhibitors).62,63 The hematogenous spread of Candida can lead to the detection of candiduria in 46% to 80% of persons who are experiencing candidemia.59 If the patient is at risk for candidemia, then blood fungal cultures should be drawn. It is not unreasonable to also order a serum-D-glucan assay if suspicions are high. A thorough skin assessment should be completed and ophthalmology consulted for a detailed eye exam in the event that the patient has candidemia. Candiduria is highly prevalent among those who are candidemic, but overall candidemia is encountered in less than 5% of patients in most intensive care units.59 Thus, most patients with candiduria do not have disseminated candidiasis.

Candiduria rarely leads to symptoms of UTI,58 unless the pathogenesis is related to an ascending process.56 Symptoms of Candida UTI are no different from those experienced from a bacterial etiology. Some patients may complain of pneumaturia and/or endorse seeing particulate matter in their urine.55 Patients showing signs of sepsis (fever, chills, flank pain) should be investigated for possible Candida pyelonephritis in the setting of candiduria.64

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