Urinary tract infections (UTI) in neonates are caused by many types of risk factors such as increased length of maternal labor, physiologic maternal conditions, prematurity, and decreased birth weight. Identification of potential risk factors for UTI in neonates can lead to rapid assessment and early interventions to treat urinary infection in the neonate before it transitions to a severe or life-threatening condition, such as a kidney infection or septicemia.

The primary purpose of this literature review was to examine risk factors predisposing neonates to UTI. The secondary purpose was to identify if length of time to drug therapy used to treat UTI in neonates decreased complications and recurrence in the preterm infant.

A comprehensive literature review was performed using research articles available from 2007 to 2021 regarding the factors influencing the occurrence of urinary tract infections in neonates. Databases used to search for articles include EBSCOhost databases, Medical Literature On-Line (Medline), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Google Scholar. Searches used a combination of the following terms: ‘UTI’, OR ‘urinary tract infection’, AND ‘neonates’, OR ‘infants’, ‘risk factors’.

Of the articles reviewed, 15 met the inclusion criteria and answered the research questions. Two studies showed circumcision in male infants increases the risk of urinary tract infection in infants. Two studies revealed vesicourethral reflux in female infants compared to male infants increases the risk of UTIs. One article suggested women with longer labor (>24 hours) from onset had an increased likelihood of the newborn having a UTI within the first week of life. Preliminary data suggests there are significant precursors and risk factors that can be identified to diagnosis UTIs early and having them treated promptly. All the reviewed articles focused on collection of urine samples within hours of birth and physiologic findings of a UTI can decrease the length of stay and costs related to infection treatment.

Antibiotic therapy being administered empirically due to rapid assessment of risk factors for UTI in the neonate decreases time to treatment by three to five days, which improves health outcomes. Rapid assessment and diagnosis of UTI is of value for preventable measures to be ordered sooner to avoid repeat and resistant UTIs in the neonate.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

D’Amato-Kubiet, Leslee


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing





Access Status

Open Access

Release Date