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  IN THIS Article
 ::  Abstract
 ::  Introduction
 ::  Material and Methods
 ::  Results
 ::  Discussion
 ::  Acknowledgements
 ::  References
 ::  Article Tables

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Year : 1977  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-18

Bacteriology of urinary tract infection in patients of renal failure undergoing dialysis

1 Department of Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Bombay-400012, India
2 Department of Pathology, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Bombay-400012, India

Correspondence Address:
Surangi K Jadav
Department of Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Bombay-400012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 615253

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 :: Abstract 

In a study of 114 patients who underwent 808 dialyses for renal failure, a high incidence of urinary tract infection (U.T.I.) was observed both in acute renal failure (A.R.F.) group (73.0%) and chronic renal failure (C.R.F.) group (57.5;;) . Although E. coli was the predominating urinary pathogen, the present study reveal­ed that other gram negative micro-organisms besides E. coli were also frequently isolated from the U.T.I. of both A.R.F. and C.R.F. cases. On the whole, both gram negative and gram positive micro­organisms exhibited high degree of resistance to antimicrobial agents. Antibiotics like Gentamycin Sulphate (98%), Polymyxin B (88%) and Colimycin Sulphate (86%) exhibited better range of total activity as compared to others.

How to cite this article:
Jadav SK, Sant SM, Acharya VN. Bacteriology of urinary tract infection in patients of renal failure undergoing dialysis. J Postgrad Med 1977;23:10-8

How to cite this URL:
Jadav SK, Sant SM, Acharya VN. Bacteriology of urinary tract infection in patients of renal failure undergoing dialysis. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1977 [cited 2023 May 31];23:10-8. Available from:

 :: Introduction Top

The life of patients with renal failure could be saved in A.R.F. and prolonged in C.R.F. with the advent of haemo or peritoneal dialysis. However, it is widely recognised that infections at different sites are the most serious hazard and ac­count for an increased proportion of the morbidity and mortality in renal failure [8],[13],[26],[28] The injudicious use of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents, their reduced and decreased dosage in renal failure resulting in the emergence of resistant strains have added to the hazard.

In cases of renal failure, there is a change in the composition of urine with oliguria, anuria, albuminuria and haema­turia. The resultant changes in pH, osmo­lality and urinary urea definitely have their own effects in urinary infection . [29] Added to this is the danger of urethral catheterisation. [5]

Because of these serious consequences the prevention of such infections became the cornerstone in the management of renal failure. The present study was un­dertaken (1) to assess the frequency of U.T.I. in patients of renal failure under­going dialysis; (2) to isolate the infect­ing agents and (3) to find out their sensi­tivity to various anti-microbial agents. The bacteriological study of other sites of infections in human body was also carried out to find out whether these in­fections can lead to the development of U.T.I. in these patients.

 :: Material and Methods Top

A total of 808 dialyses were performed on 114 cases (41 cases of A.R.F. and 73 cases of C.R.F.) to include 586 haemo­dialyses and 222 peritoneal dialyses. 9 cases of A.R.F. and 20 cases of C.R.F. were on haemodialyses, 22 cases of A.R.F. and 34 cases of C.R.F. were treated with peritoneal dialyses while the remaining 10 cases of A.R.F. and 19 cases of C.R.F. were treated with both dialyses. Haemo­dialysis was done by cannulating the peri­pheral blood vessels (artery and vein) by means of plexitron catheters made out of PVC material in cases of A.R.F, and by the use of Scribner's silastic teflon shunts for the cases of C.R.F. The dialy­sis through the peritoneal route was done by the technique of alternate puncture in the iliac fossa with the intermittent drainage through a single catheter.

On enquiry about the history, 23 cases stated that they had undergone catheter­isation prior to the present admission. Out of these cases, 16 (69.5%) belonged to A.R.F. group and 7 (30.4X) belonged to C.R.F. group. Going through the data on administration of antibiotic therapy be­fore being referred for dialysis it was noted that 28 patients (24.4%) were treated with chloramphenicol, 25 patients (21.9%) were treated with ampicillin, 16 patients (14.02%) were treated with peni­cillin, 10 patients (8.7%) were treated with erythromycin and streptomycin, 8 (7.01%) patients were treated with kana­mycin and 5 patients (4.35%) were treat­ed with gentamycin.

[Table 1] shows the biological specimens obtained from these patients for bacte­riological studies.

The colony count of urine samples was determined by dip-slide inoculum me­thod [18] which was modified in our labo­ratory. [21] When the mixed growth was ob­served, colony count of individual micro­organism was determined by pour plate method. [1] In the present study, the diag­nosis of U.T.I. was established by the pre­sence of bacteriuria (10 4 orgs./ml.) in at least three-clean-voided urine collections with the same species observed. This was in view of the history of previous antibiotic therapy in many cases and the fact that uraemic state was associated with immunological aberration and low urinary outputs with the possibility of intermittent bacteriuria. [15]

All these materials were cultured on blood agar and MacConkey's agar. Sabo­raud's glucose agar was used for the iso­lation of candida species. All these media were incubated at 37°C for 24-72 hours. Indentification of micro-organisms was done by using standard biochemical tests. [10] The antibiotic sensitivity was de­termined in vitro by impregnated disc method. [4] The following antimicrobial agents were used in the concentration per disc mentioned against them. [11] [Table 2].

 :: Results Top

The positive urine culture was obtain­ed from 30 (73%) out of 41 cases of A.R.F. and from 42 (57.5%) out of 73 cases of C.R.F. However, the difference in the incidences of U.T.I. in these two groups was not statistically significant (X 2 = 2.759; df = 1, n.s). It was noted that 28/% of cases with positive urine cul­tures had undergone catheterisation.

The different types of micro-organisms isolated from urine cultures in A.R.F. and C.R.F. cases are shown in [Table 3]. Gram negative bacteria were more fre­quently isolated than Gram positive micro-organisms. E. coli was the predo­minant urinary pathogen in cases of C.R.F. while Klebsiella was the predomi­nant pathogen in A.R.F. cases. The stati­stical analysis, however, shows that the types of micro-organisms isolated from both the groups are not significantly different from each other (p>0.05). It is also seen that other gram negative micro-organisms besides E. coli were also frequently isolated from both A.R.F. and C.R.F. cases.

The number of mixed isolates from urine of renal failure cases are shown in [Table 4]. Most of the strains of E. coli, Klebsiella and Enterobacter groups were isolated in pure cultures while those of Proteus and Pseudomonas were more fre­quently found from mixed cultures and also from the cases who were repeatedly catheterised.

Out of 22 cases who had low colony counts (10 4 ), 10 had mixed infections, 5 cases were of chronic pyelonephritis and 7 patients had U.T.I. due to gram posi­tive micro-organisms.

The antibiotic sensitivity of micro­organisms isolated from U.T.I. in A.R.F. and C.R.F. is shown in [Table 5]. On com­paring the overall sensitivity of all orga­nisms with the individual sensitivity of Klebsiella, E. coli and the group of the remaining organisms there was no statis­tically significant difference in activity for any antibiotics in two groups of A.R.F. and C.R.F. except for chloram­phenicol (p<0.05). The overall sensiti­vity to chloramphenicol was better for C.R.F. (20.8%) than A.R.F. (5.3% ).

The anti-bacterial agents could be grouped into 4 distinct categories depend­ing on the extent of antibacterial activity pattern. The first group consisted of Sul­phonamides, Penicillin, Erythromycin, Chloramphenicol and Ampicillin which had activity below 25%. The second group consisted of Oxytetracyclin, Nitro­furantoin and Carbenicillin having acti­vity range of 25% to 50%. The third group comprised of Trimethoprim + Sulphamethoxazole, Mandelamine, Streptomycin and Cephaloridine having activity range of 51% to 75% while the fourth group of Kanamycin, Coli­mycin, Polymyxin and Gentamycin had 76% to 100 % activity. The analysis of variance indicates that the different anti­biotics which manifested overall activity of more than 25% (Group 2, 3, 4) have different activity pattern (p<0.001). The organisms like E. coli, Klebsiella and a group of other organisms also differ in their sensitivity (p<0.01). The activity of antibiotics to the three groups of micro-organisms differ significantly (p<0.05).

Relationship between Infections at Different Sites with Respect to Micro-Organisms

It was possible to study the inter­relationship of infections at different sites in 37 patients (32.5%). In 20 (53.3%) of these, the same micro-organisms were isolated from different infectious sites [Table 6].

 :: Discussion Top

It is well known that `conservative' management suffices for the majority of patients with acute urinary suppression, however, the dialysis methods are valu­able adjuncts where the suppression is persistent. The overwhelming and ful­minent infections developing during the management create a major problem in the treatment of patients of renal failure while undergoing dialysis. The present paper deals with the study of bacterio­logy of U.T.I. in 114 patients of renal failure undergoing dialysis and also makes observations on the relationship of U.T.I. with infections at different sites. As these patients are more vulnerable to infections, the question of the magnitude of risk of renal failure among patients with bacteriuria is a complicated one. However, Kaye [23] has shown that this risk exists only in patients who have bilateral renal infection since only one normal kid­ney is enough to sustain health.

In the present study, 30 out of 41 patients (73%) with A.R.F. and 42 out of 73 patients (57.5%) had urinary infection. The frequency of U.T.I. has been reported to be 33% to 89% among the patients with renal failure. [2],[7],[22],[25],[31] In the present study, 28% of the patients with U.T.I. had been subjected to at least one bladder catheterisation procedure during the acute phase of the disease and mere avoidance of this procedure could have reduced the incidence of U.T.I. to a considerable extent.

In the current series, 22 out of 72 cases (30.5%) of positive urine cultures had low colony count (10 4 ). Antibacterial therapy and diuretic drugs, in massive dosages converting oliguric renal failure phase into non-oliguric phase, may be the key factors accounting for the relatively low range of colony count. It is interest­ing to note that some of low colony counts seen in the present study were in cases of chronic pyelonephritis and also in the specimens where the infections were with gram positive cocci. In such situa­tion low counts need to be considered significant and treated to prevent morbidity due to U.T.I.

The observations on incidence of different micro-organisms and their sensi­tivity pattern in patients with recurrent U.T.I without renal failure have been reported by many workers. [3],[6],[12],[14],[16],[17],[20],[30] However, there is no data available on bacteriuria in a population with renal insufficiency comparable with the present findings. It was observed that the urinary infection with multiple organisms was about twice more frequent in chronic U.T.I. cases (14.2% ' ) as compared to acute ones (7.2%) in patients with no evidence of renal failure. [14] In contrast to this, in the present study, 30% of the cases with A.R.F. and 24%, of patients with C.R.F. had mixed infection.

It was interesting to observe one patient who had primary U.T.I. due to Klebsiella and Candida albicans. This bacterial and fungal infection disappeared without any specific antifungal treatment when it was replaced by infections with Ps. aeruginosa. The patient also developed overwhelming Pseudomonas sepsis. It has been shown that Candida albicans growth is inhibited by gram negative bacteria. [9],[27]

In our experience of 37 cases, 20 cases (53.3%) showed the same micro­organisms from infections at different sites like urine, pus from the wounds, sputum, vaginal swab, ear swab, perito­neal fluid, blood and pericardical fluid. This observation was noted by Leigh [24] in peritoneal sepsis and U.T.I. Montgo­merei et al [26] noted this in cases of septicaemia and U.T.I. where as Balslov and Jorgensen [2] made similar observations in wound 'infection and U.T.I. Thus it was evident that there may be an inter-relationship between infections at different sites developing during renal failure. However, the cause and effect relationship between them would be difficult to surmise, except in areas of close proximity like vagina and anal canal where infections from these two areas are likely to travel up and lead to U.T.I. On the other hand, peritoneal wound and cavity could get contaminated by the in­fected urine leading to sepsis due to common organisms producing U.T.I. Wounds at the cannulation sites of blood vessels could lead to U.T.I. by blood stream spread. This brings into focus the need of scrupulous and frequent cleaning of all wounds, while managing patients of renal failure. The low urine output itself precludes frequent bladder emptying in an azotaemic patient making the urinary tract vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Hence frequent examination of urine for bacteriuria would help early detection of U.T.I.-a valuable step in reducing the morbidity by instituting ap­propriate and very early therapy.

The data of antibiotic sensitivity pattern has revealed a close relationship with their prophylactic usage. The more frequently used antibiotics like Peni­cillin, Erythromycin, Chloramphenicol, and Ampicillin revealed very low levels of sensitivity (<25%) to all organisms in a group as a whole. The avoidance of prophylactic usage of antibiotics may help surmount this to a certain extent and would also be a logical step to avoid the threat of R.-factor resistance. [19]

 :: Acknowledgements Top

We are most thankful to the nursing staff of Artifical Kidney Department of the K.E.M. Hospital, Bombay-400 012, for their ready assistance in collection of the pathological samples. Our sincere thanks are due to Mrs. K. D. Lotlikar for carrying out the statistical analysis of the present data. For the facilities and also for giving us permission, we thank Dr. C. K. Deshpande, the Dean of the K.E.M. Hospital.

 :: References Top

1.Bailey, W. R. and Scott, G.: Diagnostic Microbiology St. Louis, C. V. Mosby Company 2nd Edition, 1966.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Balslov, J. T. and Jorgensen, H. E.: A survey of 499 patients with acute anuric renal insufficiency. Amer. J. Med. 34: 753-763, 1963.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Bapna, B. C.; Bhujwalla, R. A, and Singh, S. M.: Bacteriological study of urinary infection in patients with closed drainage system. Ind. J. Med. Res. 59: 836-843. 1971.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Bauer. A. W.; Kirby. W. H.; Sherris. J. C. and Turk, M.: Antibiotic suscep­tibility testing by a standardised single disc method. Amer. J. Clin. Path. 43: 493-496, 1966.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Baeson, P. B.: The case against the catheter. Amer. J. Med. 24: 1-3,1958.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Bhujwalla. R. A.: Susceptibility of gram negative bacilli isolated from urinary tract to methanamine mandelate and other anti­microbial agents. In vitro study. Ind. J. Med. Res. 57: 1846-1849, 1969.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Bluemle, L. W.; Webster, G. D. and Elkinton, J. R.: Acute tubular necro­sis. Arch. Intern. Med. 104: 180-197, 1959.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Chugh, K. S.; Bhattacharya, K.; Amar­esan, M. S.; Sharma, B. K. and Bansal, V. K.: Peritoneal dialysis-Our experi­ence based on 550 dialyses. J. of Assoc. Phys. of India. 20: 215-221, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Cowan, D. G.; Dillon, J. R.; Talbot, S. and Bridge, R. A. C.: Renal moniliasis -A case report and discussion, J. Urol., 88: 594-596, 1962.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Cowan, S. T.: Manual for the identifica­tion of medical bacteria, second edition. Cambridge University Press, pg. 45-122, 1974.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Cruickshank Robert: Medical Microbiology Eleventh Edition. The English language book Society and Churchill Livingstone, pg. 898, 1968.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Dasgupta, L. R. and Sharma, K. B.: In vitro susceptibility of urinary pathogens to methanamine mandelate. Ind. J. Med. Res. 57: 1809-1812. 1969.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Dastur, F. D.; Ambani, L. M.; Halankar, A. R.; Kothari, N. N. and Acharya, V. N.: Haemodialysis in acute renal failure. J. of Assoc. of Phys. of India, 19: 435-442, 1971.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Dube, R. K.; Gupta, L. M. and Dube, B.: Clinico-bacteriological study of urinary tract infection. J. of Assoc. of Phys. of India, 20: 293-300, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 14    
15.Fairley, K. F.; Becker, G. J.; Butler. H. M.; Regina, D.; McDowall, M. and Leslie, D. W.: Diagnosis in difficult case, Kidney International. 8: 12-19, 1975.  Back to cited text no. 15    
16.Gladstone, J. L. and Friedman, S. A.: Bacteriuria in the aged-A study of its prevalence and predisposing lesions in chronically ill population. J. Urol. 106: 745-749, 1971.  Back to cited text no. 16    
17.Gohain, N. N.; Bhujwalla, R. A. and Om Prakash: Bacteriology of Urinary Tract Infections. Ind. J. Path. and Bact . 12: 14-19, 1969.  Back to cited text no. 17    
18.Guttman, D. and Naylor, G. R. E.: Dip slide-An aid to quantitative urine culture in general practice. Brit. Med. J. 3: 343­-345, 1967.  Back to cited text no. 18    
19.Harkness, J. L. Anderston, F. M. and Datta Naomi: R-Factor in urinary tract infection. Kidney International, 8: 130-133,1975.  Back to cited text no. 19    
20.Irving, N. B.; Lazarus, A.: Orkin and Joseph Winter: An eleven year study of urinary bacterial cultures in a total in­patients hospital population. J. Urol.94: 168-171, 1965.  Back to cited text no. 20    
21.Jadhav, S. K.; Patel, K. C.; Jain Usha; Dastur, F. D. and Acharya, V. N.: Dip Slide method in the diagnosis o` Urinary Tract Infection. J. of Assoc. of Phys. of India, 22: 255-259, 1974.  Back to cited text no. 21    
22.Kalslow, R. A. and Zellner, S. R.: Infec­tion in patients on maintenance haemodia­lysis. Lancet, 2: 117-118, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 22    
23.Kaye, D.: Long term prognosis of Urinary Tract Infection and its management. The C. V. Mosby Co. Saint Louis. Pg. 267­278, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 23    
24.Leigh, D. A.: Peritoneal infections in patients on long term peritoneal dialysis before and after human cadaveric renal transplantation. J. Clin. Path. 22: 539-544. 1969.  Back to cited text no. 24    
25.Lunding, M.; Steiness, I. and Thaysen, J. H.: Acute renal failure due to tubular necrosis. Immediate prognosis and com­plications. Acta. Med. Scand. 176: 103-119, 1964.  Back to cited text no. 25    
26.Montgomerie, J. Z.; Kalmanson, G. M and Gaze, L. B.: Renal failure and infec­tions. Medicine 47: 1-25, 1968.  Back to cited text no. 26    
27.Paine, T. F.: The inhibitory action of bac­teria on candida growth. Antibiotics and Chemotherapy, 8: 273-281, 1958.  Back to cited text no. 27    
28.Stott, R. B.; Ogg, C. S.; Cameron, J. S. and Bewick, M.: Why the persistently high mortality in A.R.F.? Lancet 2: 75­78, 1972.  Back to cited text no. 28    
29.Tinna, S. K.: Reciprocal effects of micro­bial growth, pH and urea in normal and infected urine. A thesis submitted for M.Sc. degree to Bombay University, 1975.  Back to cited text no. 29    
30.Tyagi, S. P.; Tiagi, G. K. and Gupta, U.: Urinary Tract Infection. J. Ind. Med. Assoc. 45: 176-180, 1965.  Back to cited text no. 30    
31.Zech, P.; Bouletrean, R.; Moskovtchenko, J. F.; Bernard, M.; Fravre Bulle, S.; Blanc-Brunat, N. and Traegar, J.: Infec­tions in acute renal failure. In "Advances of Nephrology," Vol. I Edited by Hambur­ger Jean, Crosnier Jean and Maxwell, M. H. Year Book Medical Publishers INC Page 231-258, 1971.  Back to cited text no. 31    


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]


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