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Fifteen-minute consultation: Why and how do children get urinary tract infections?
  1. Kjell Tullus
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kjell Tullus, Department of Nephrology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London WC1N 3JH, UK; Kjell.Tullus{at}


This paper describes urinary tract infections (UTI) from the perspective of a disturbed balance between bacterial virulence and host defence. In some children, a UTI is caused by a virulent Escherichia coli, while in other cases children with abnormal renal tracts can get infected by almost any bacteria. Such knowledge can help in guiding treatment, investigations and follow-up of a child with a UTI.

  • urinary tract infection
  • bacterial virulence
  • host defence

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.