The pathogen that accounts for about 90% of UTIs is Escherichia coli. Other organisms that are commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract and may contaminate the genitourinary tract include Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, group B beta-hemolytic streptococci, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella species, and Serratia. Two growing causes of UTI in the United States are Staphylo-coccus saprophyticus and Candida albicans.

Predisposing factors are urethral damage from childbirth, catheterization, or surgery; decreased frequency of urination; other medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus; and in women, frequent sexual activity and some forms of contraceptives (poorly fitting diaphragms, use of spermicides).

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