Objective The objective of this study was to understand the pathological mechanism and therapeutic progress in the study of urinary tract infections to provide references for clinical diagnosis and identification and development of therapeutic drugs. Methods We summarized the types, pathological mechanisms, and therapeutic drugs for urinary tract infections on the basis of recent publications on these infections, both domestic and abroad. Results and conclusions Urinary tract infection is mainly caused by pathogenic bacterial infection and treated by targeting bacterial adhesion, bacterial toxin, protease, urease, and siderophores, as well as using pili as vaccines and small-molecule drugs. Vaccines that target bacterial adhesion can block well the interaction between pathogens and the body, thereby reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections. The clinical efficacy of vaccines targeting bacterial toxins and proteases needs further evaluation. Vaccines targeting iron carriers retard disease progression and attenuate bacterial colonization. Urease-targeted small-molecule drugs exhibit certain curative effects and serious side effects. Small pili-targeted drugs can prevent and treat urinary tract infections by blocking the colonization and invasion of pathogens in animal models of urinary tract infections on the bladder. Adhesive FimH antibodies have entered Phase I clinical trials. However, pilicides, mannosides, and vaccines that target pili, iron carriers, and other virulence factors are still in the experimental or preclinical stages of research.