Non-antibiotic interventions for prevention of urinary tract infections in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
A considerable proportion of children experience a recurrence of urinary tract infection (UTI) following the first episode. While low-dose antibiotic prophylaxis has been the mainstay for the prevention of UTI, recent evidence raised concerns over their efficacy and safety. Hence, we aim to systematically synthesize evidence on the efficacy and safety of non-antibiotic prophylactic interventions for UTI. Using keywords related to study population (children) and intervention (non-antibiotic), we searched CENTRAL, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until August 2020. RCTs comparing any non-antibiotic interventions with placebo/antibiotics for prevention of UTIs in children were considered eligible. We used a random-effect model to provide pooled estimates. Sixteen trials evaluating 1426 participants were included. Cranberry was as effective as antibiotic prophylaxis (RR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.56-1.50) but better than placebo/no therapy (RR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.28-0.80) in reducing UTI recurrence. Probiotic therapy was more effective in reducing UTI recurrence (RR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.29-0.94) when compared with placebo. While probiotic therapy was not better than antibiotics prophylaxis in preventing UTI (RR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.56-1.21), they have a lower risk of antibiotic resistance (RR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.21-0.69). Conclusion: Cranberry products and probiotics are the two non-antibiotic interventions that have been chiefly evaluated, reduce the risk of UTI recurrence when compared with placebo in children with a normal urinary tract. The findings from this systematic review suggest that while cranberry and probiotics may be used, there is a definite need to identify better and more acceptable non-antibiotic interventions.