A 5-year-old girl has come to you a week after completing a course of antibiotics for a febrile urinary tract infection (UTI). She now seems well and energetic. A urinalysis is now clear without traces of inflammation, including an absence of protein, blood, leukocyte esterase, and nitrites. Her urine is submitted for a test of cure and comes back positive, with over 100,000 colonies per milliliter of E. coli, the same kind of bacteria that was cultured from her urine when she was symptomatic with the UTI. Perplexed, her mother asks how her child can have bacteria once again in her bladder but not be symptomatic and asks if antibiotics are again necessary.


Patrick C. Seed


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