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Biology LibreTexts

23: Urogenital System Infections

  • Page ID
    • 23.1: Anatomy and Normal Microbiota of the Urogenital Tract
      The urinary system is responsible for filtering the blood, excreting wastes, and helping to regulate electrolyte and water balance. The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra; the bladder and urethra are the most common sites of infection. Common sites of infection in the male reproductive system include the urethra, as well as the testes, prostateand epididymis. The commons sites of infection in females are the vulva, vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes.
    • 23.2: Bacterial Infections of the Urinary System
      Urinary tract infections (UTIs) include infections of the urethra, bladder, and kidneys, and are common causes of urethritis, cystitis, pyelonephritis, and glomerulonephritis. Bacteria are the most common causes of UTIs, especially in the urethra and bladder.  Bacterial cystitis is commonly caused by fecal bacteria such as E. coli. Pyelonephritis is a serious kidney infection that is often caused by bacteria that travel from infections elsewhere in the urinary tract.
    • 23.3: Bacterial Infections of the Reproductive System
      In addition to infections of the urinary tract, bacteria commonly infect the reproductive tract. As with the urinary tract, parts of the reproductive system closest to the external environment are the most likely sites of infection. Often, the same microbes are capable of causing urinary tract and reproductive tract infections.  Bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia , Gonorrhea, and Chancroid are diseases caused by bacteria.
    • 23.4: Viral Infections of the Reproductive System
      Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV-2 (although HSV-1 can also be responsible) and may cause the development of infectious, potentially recurrent vesicles Neonatal herpes can occur in babies born to infected mothers and can cause symptoms that range from relatively mild (more common) to severe. Human papillomaviruses are the most common sexually transmitted viruses and include strains that cause genital warts as well as strains that cause cervical cancer.
    • 23.5: Fungal Infections of the Reproductive System
      Candida spp. are typically present in the normal microbiota in the body, including the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and female urogenital system. Disruptions in the normal vaginal microbiota can lead to an overgrowth of Candida, causing vaginal candidiasis. Vaginal candidiasis can be treated with topical or oral fungicides. Prevention is difficult.
    • 23.6: Protozoan Infections of the Reproductive System
      Trichomoniasis a common STI caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. T. vaginalis is common at low levels in the normal microbiota. Trichomoniasis is often asymptomatic. When symptoms develop, trichomoniasis causes urinary discomfort, irritation, itching, burning, discharge from the penis (in men), and vaginal discharge (in women). Trichomoniasis is treated with the antiflagellate drugs tinidazole and metronidazole.

    Thumbnail: Candida blastospores (asexual spores that result from budding) and chlamydospores (resting spores produced through asexual reproduction) are visible in this micrograph. (credit: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

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