Background: Risk factors for antibiotic-resistant infections are multi-scalar and interdependent, but few studies investigate them in an integrated way. We investigated how location, the environment, socioeconomics, behaviours, attitudes, and demographics are jointly associated with multi-drug resistant urinary tract infection (MDR UTI).

Methods: Between 2018-2020, the Holistic Approach to Unravelling Antibacterial Resistance (HATUA) Consortium recruited outpatients with UTI symptoms in healthcare facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We collected urine samples and questionnaires from patients and households. Our primary outcome was MDR UTI, defined as resistance to 3 or more categories of antibiotics. We used linked individual-level data on 67 variables capturing geographic, environmental, socioeconomic, demographic, attitudinal, and behavioural characteristics. We employed bivariate analyses and Bayesian profile regression to investigate the joint association of risk factors with MDR UTI.

Findings: Out of 2332 patients with microbiologically-confirmed UTI, we analysed 1610 with linked microbiological, social, and environmental data. Most were female (1369 [85·0%]), younger than 45 years (1206 [74·9%]), and nearly half had MDR UTI (766 [47.6%]). Profile regression generated 10 high-risk and 7 low-risk MDR UTI clusters. High-risk MDR clusters contained patients that were on average older, with lower education, more chronic illness, and lived in resource-deprived households. They were also more likely to have contact with animals, and human/animal waste.

Interpretation: Risk factors for antibiotic resistance are interrelated through multidimensional poverty. We need studies which explore how these factors interact longitudinally to shape inequalities, and to design appropriate interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRochester, NY
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • antibacterial resistance
  • antibiotic use
  • East Africa
  • multi-drug resistant
  • One Health
  • risk factors
  • urinary tract infection


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