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Bacteria Found in Bladders of Healthy Women Differ From Those in Women with Incontinence

Newswise — Bacteria found in the bladders of healthy women differ from bacteria in women with a common form of incontinence, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. These findings, published July 9, 2014, in the American Society for Microbiology’s online journal mBio, suggest that bacterial communities may play a role in female urinary health.

“Urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) is a common, yet poorly understood, condition with symptoms similar to urinary tract infections,” said Alan Wolfe, PhD, co-investigator and professor of Microbiology and Immunology. “If we can determine that certain bacteria cause UUI symptoms, we may be able to better identify those at risk for this condition and more effectively treat them.”

Approximately 15 percent of women suffer from UUI and yet an estimated 40 – 50 percent do not respond to conventional treatments. One possible explanation for the lack of response to medication may be the bacteria present in these women.

This study evaluated urine specimens of 90 women with and without UUI symptoms. Samples were collected through a catheter and analyzed using an expanded quantitative urine culture (EQUC) technique. This technique was able to find bacteria that are not identified by the standard culture techniques typically used to diagnose urinary tract syndromes. This study also used 16S rDNA sequencing to classify bacterial DNA. The UUI and non-UUI urinary bacteria differed by group based on both culture type and sequence.

“These findings may have strong implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of women with this form of incontinence,” said Paul Schreckenberger, PhD, co-investigator and director, clinical microbiology laboratory, Loyola University Health System.

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.

2 Comments

  1. Bladderella July 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    This is a very interesting article as I have thought for some time that there must be some other kind of bacteria other than e.Coli in IC bladders. While it is encouraging to know that other bacteria has been identified as a possible cause, it is disheartening to know that prevention, diagnosis and treatment of it is not yet known.

  2. earthlady July 20, 2014 at 7:39 am

    The article only mentioned women with urinary incontinence. There was no mention of women who were diagnosed with IC. I’m wondering if it would also pertain to women being diagnosed with IC who have incontinence problems.

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