MAPP Research Network Study Finds That Fungus In Urine Might Be Linked To Urgency and Pain
One of the most promising lines of research in urology today is the study of the biome, the diverse population of bacteria and fungi that live harmoniously in the human body. In previous MAPP Research Network studies, IC patients were found to have high levels of candida/fungi in their urine during flares.(1) Another found that IC patients are deficient in some important bacteria in our bowel while having higher levels of other harmful bacteria.(2) This latest MAPP Research Network study now links changes in fungal communities with the symptoms of urinary urgency and pain.(3)
Researchers obtained urine specimens from 12 IC patients, 17 OAB patients 14 normal patients. DNA was extracted and then deep sequenced and compared to multiple fungal sequence databases. They found that patients with more severe symptoms, regardless of the symptom type, had decreased fungal diversity. And individual symptoms were associated with distinctive species of fungi. Patients with severe bladder pain had altered levels of Malassezia spp. Composition and while patients struggling with incontinence were inversely correlated with Wickerhamomyces spp.
The researchers concluded that the urinary mycobiome is altered in patients struggling with lower urinary tract symptoms, and that the loss of diversity correlated worsening symptoms. Specific fungal patterns were found in patients with the symptoms of bladder pain and urinary urgency but, interestingly, this did not correlate with diagnosis or medical condition. The researchers concluded that this has “These results suggest the intriguing possibility that particular microbial patterns maybe associated with specific symptoms, not necessarily diagnoses. This could lead to new diagnostic and treatment algorithms for patients struggling with lower urinary tract symptoms.” Clearly, there is a need for greater testing for fungi in urine screening. Bacteria may not be the root problem in some patients. It’s time to consider the role of fungus as well.
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). For many years, Jill served on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborated 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.
Jill has 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 new live IC Support Group Meetings via Youtube and the “Living with IC” video series. Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.
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