Most urinary tract infections are caused by the E. coli bacteria, according to Everyday Health. E. coli can cause an infection in the bladder, kidneys, urethra or ureters. An infection generally occurs when the E. coli bacteria is transferred from the bowel into the urinary tract.
The E. coli bacteria is responsible for up to 85 percent of urinary tract infections. If the E. coli bacteria travels into the kidneys, the infection can be dangerous and potentially lead to permanent kidney damage or fatal blood poisoning, according to Everyday Health. However, several other types of bacteria can also cause urinary tract infections such as Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, states Everyday Health.
A urinary tract infection caused by E. coli can produce symptoms such as a burning sensation during urination, fever and chills, foul-smelling urine that can appear cloudy and pain in the lower back. Woman may experience pelvic pain and men may experience rectal pain, states Everyday Health.
Some of the risk factors for getting a urinary tract infection caused by E. coli bacteria include having a weak immune system or a spinal cord injury, a condition that blocks the urinary tract such as kidney stone, or using a urinary catheter, according to Everyday Health. Woman are more likely to experience a urinary tract infection caused by E. coli that men.