BackgroundThe efficacy of continuous antibiotic prophylaxis in preventing urinary tract infection (UTI) in infants with grade III, IV, or V vesicoureteral reflux is controversial.MethodsIn this investigator-initiated, randomized, open-label trial performed in 39 European centers, we randomly assigned infants 1 to 5 months of age with grade III, IV, or V vesicoureteral reflux and no previous UTIs to receive continuous antibiotic prophylaxis (prophylaxis group) or no treatment (untreated group) for 24 months. The primary outcome was the occurrence of the first UTI during the trial period. Secondary outcomes included new kidney scarring and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at 24 months.ResultsA total of 292 participants underwent randomization (146 per group). Approximately 75% of the participants were male; the median age was 3 months, and 235 participants (80.5%) had grade IV or V vesicoureteral reflux. In the intention-to-treat analysis, a first UTI occurred in 31 participants (21.2%) in the prophylaxis group and in 52 participants (35.6%) in the untreated group (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.86; P=0.008); the number needed to treat for 2 years to prevent one UTI was 7 children (95% CI, 4 to 29). Among untreated participants, 64.4% had no UTI during the trial. The incidence of new kidney scars and the estimated GFR at 24 months did not differ substantially between the two groups. Pseudomonas species, other non-Escherichia coli organisms, and antibiotic resistance were more common in UTI isolates obtained from participants in the prophylaxis group than in isolates obtained from those in the untreated group. Serious adverse events were similar in the two groups.ConclusionsIn infants with grade III, IV, or V vesicoureteral reflux and no previous UTIs, continuous antibiotic prophylaxis provided a small but significant benefit in preventing a first UTI despite an increased occurrence of non-E. coli organisms and antibiotic resistance. (Funded by the Italian Ministry of Health and others; PREDICT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02021006; EudraCT number, 2013-000309-21.) In a trial involving infants with grade III, IV, or V vesicoureteral reflux and no previous UTI, continuous antibiotic prophylaxis for 2 years provided a small but significant benefit in preventing a first UTI.