Effect of Probiotics on Urinary Tract Infections in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



112520576 (Orcid)


Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most prevalent bacterial infections that occur in children worldwide. Objective: This meta-analysis aims to investigate the utility of probiotics as preventive therapy in children with a UTI. Methods: The Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus were searched for articles that investigated the relationship between probiotic consumption and the risk of UTIs. The quality of the articles was evaluated using the Jadad scale. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effects model. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were also conducted. The Cochran Q test and the statistic I2 were used to evaluate heterogeneity. To determine any potential publication bias, the Egger's and Begg's tests were used. Results: In total, eleven studies were selected for systematic review and meta-analysis. Compared to children who did not receive probiotics, the OR of developing or having a recurring urinary tract infection in those who received probiotics was 0.94 (95% CI; 0.88-0.999; p-value=0.046). The Begg's and Egger's tests showed no evidence of publication bias between probiotics and the risk of developing new or recurring urinary tract infections. Conclusion: Based on this systematic review and meta-analysis, probiotics could be an alternative therapy for children who are at risk of developing a UTI. They are non-pharmaceutical options and could be used as natural prophylaxis for UTIs. However, the currently published evidence does not irrefutably confirm that probiotics provide a protective effect against urinary bacterial infections. Therefore, there need to be large-scale randomized clinical trials undertaken to investigate the possible prophylaxis of probiotics. (Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.net.)