There has been a renewed interest in the use of vaccines in disease prevention in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What most people do not know is that there are vaccines available for the prevention of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) as well!
The use of these types of vaccines are for people with recurrent UTI. Recurrent UTIs were defined as ≥ 2 infections in 6 months or ≥ 3 in 12 months. Patients with recurrent UTI are typically given multiple courses of antibiotics. This invariably leads to antibiotic resistance in the urine culture and sensitivities after repeated use. The use of antibiotics usually then escalates in terms of coverage, route of use (injectables), potential hospital admissions and costs.
The current recommended means of prevention includes both supplements and low dose antibiotics. Supplements e.g. probiotics, cranberry supplements, d-mannose, have mixed and inconclusive evidence in research. Hence, there is a need to expand the choices of treatment for recurrent resistant UTI as part of antibiotic stewardship and avoiding collateral damage from antibiotics.
Besides resistance, patients commonly have side effects from antibiotics including nausea, abdominal bloatedness and diarrhoea.
Uro-Vaxom consists of an oral tablet with 18 heat killed strains of E coli bacteria. It is the vaccine that has the largest body of evidence in literature and has been used in Europe for many years with minimal documented adverse events. It is also recommended by the European Association of Urology (EAU) in its guidelines. Uro-Vaxom activates the immunocompetent cells of the intestinal lining (e.g. in Peyer’s plaques). In humans, Uro-Vaxom stimulates the white blood cells and promotes the production of antibodies which prevents UTI.