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AUTHOR - Chiara B

P.Happi® attends UTI conference by Antibiotic Research UK

P.Happi® attends UTI conference by Antibiotic Research UK

The  P.Happi® team were delighted to be able to attend the UTI in London last week, hosted by Antibiotic Research UK, a charity that raises awareness for antibiotic resistance and funds to support the research and development of potential new treatments and solutions.

The conference was special in its endeavour to bring different perspectives together, uniting clinicians, scientists and patients all in one room to delve into the latest insights and research on the subject.

A few key key take aways for readers in our community who did not have a chance to attend…

Living With Chronic and Complex UTIs Conference 21st March 2024

Clinicians, patients and researchers came together to discuss the current state of the art clinical practice, the latest research. Patients also shared insights about their UTI journeys bridging the gap between research and patient needs. The event was moderated by Jonathan Pearce, CEO of Antibiotic Research UK and guest speakers included Dr Catriona Anderson, Dr Gail Hayward, Dr Melissa Haines and Professor Jennifer Rohn.

We also directly heard from patient advocates, Caroline Sampson and Sarah Heaton, about their experiences living with the condition and their journey starting from their first UTI to now living with chronic pain.

Sarah Heaton, patient advocate’s moving account of living with CUTIs talked about the hidden, often overlooked impact on patient lives with a lot of women feeling dismissed and isolated by the condition having to go through many versions of treatments that haven’t worked and can cause long lasting damage.  The constant pain of CUTIs can have an impact on careers, needing to take time off work or the difficulties faced when attempting to be present at work. Not everyone around patients understands how this can impact them and it’s hard to find a support system for women with UTIs. The financial burden this causes on patients on seeking private treatment is often also dismissed and is something we want to address in a later blog post.

Journalists also attended the conference with The Independent recently publishing the piece - ‘My life was over’: Chronic UTI patients demand non-antibiotic treatments (


image from antibiotics research uk conference


UTI fact file from on the day includes:

  • 700,000 estimated deaths each year globally from antimicrobial resistant infections
  • UTI is the most common bacterial infection
  • 6 million UTI antibiotics prescribed in a year for UTIs just in the UK
  • One new UTI antibiotic discovered since the 1980s
  • 34% of UTI samples analysed were found to be resistant to trimethoprim, an increase from 29.1% in 2015
  • 400 million cases a year worldwide
  • Up to 50% of the adult female population will have a UTI
  • 53% of older women experience recurrence within one year
  • 36% of young women experience a recurrence within one year

Key Takeaways

  • Diagnostics - Urine dipsticks are a typically used approach for diagnosing a UTI however 40-50% return a negative result leaving some UTIs undetected and thus untreated. Dipstick criteria is outdated and from the 1950s. Point-of-care diagnostics for more precise diagnosis is in development e.g. Lodestar.
  • Phages explored as a new non-antibiotic treatment against UTIs, however more research is needed to bring a product to market.
  • AMR is becoming increasingly more an issue affecting women’s health with solutions diminishing.
  • Long term high dose antibiotic use, which is sometimes prescribed for chronic, recurrent sufferers, can cause long lasting damage, pain and distress for patients. Some women report nerve damage, problems with their guts and not being able to tolerate antibiotics anymore.
  • Women need to be heard about the condition and suffering caused by CUTIs in particular. UTIs need to be diagnosed and treated correctly from the beginning to avoid recurrent and chronic infections. Until this is more widely understood the support system needed to maintain a quality of life won’t be there.

How you can support Antibiotics Research UK

ANTRUK are a registered charity and you can support them by donating and/or becoming a member here. You can also find out more about fundraising and taking part in The World Health Organisation’s World AMR Awareness Week which is on the 18th-24th November 2024.

Could not attend? A recording of the conference for those who haven’t registered, will be posted to the charity’s YouTube channel soon. Details to follow the charity are also below:


X: @1Antruk

Facebook: @AntibioticResearchUK

Instagram: @antibioticresearchuk

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