IC patients, especially those struggling with recurring flares, often wonder if they could have a chronic bacterial or fungal infection that is not being detected through traditional urine testing. A new, affordable and far more sensitive urine test, Next Generation DNA Sequencing, is now available that can identify both bacteria and fungi in a patients urine. This test is assisting physicians, infectious disease specialists and researchers in the diagnosis and treatment of complex microbial infections in the urinary tract. It is truly game changing!

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My Experience With Next Gen Testing

Next Generation DNA urine testing was brought to my attention last year by an IC patient who discovered that he had a hospital acquired drug resistant bladder infection. Traditional urine testing did not find the bacteria but Next Generation testing did and with proper treatment, that infection resolved. Interestingly, he had surgery  earlier this year and again picked up another nosocomial infection in the hospital. And, again, Next Generation Sequencing not only identified the infection but also gave treatment suggestions that eliminated his infection. I was incredibly encouraged and very happy for him.

I decided to have my urine tested too because I had noticed that my urine was frequently cloudy after my hysterectomy last year. I was curious to see if I had any low grade infections. The test was very easy to do. They will mail you a kit and you then return a very small sample of your urine.  My test results were fascinating.  They found mostly beneficial bacteria however there was a very small population of three pathogenic bacteria: ecoli, actinomyces and enterococcus.

The question then became, should we treat this with antibiotics? MicroGen provides extensive drug resistance information in their test results as well. You can see my results attached below. They compare the DNA they find with known drug resistance data to create a master list of the most effective bacteria for your potential infection. Unlike the IC patient above, I chose not to take antibiotics because I was having no other symptoms of a UTI. I didn’t want to disrupt my gut biome with antibiotics when I wasn’t struggling with frequency, urgency or pain.

I am so compelled by the research that I am seeing with this new testing that I asked the company if we could be an affiliate and refer patients for the test. They said yes. Here’s an interview that I did with Rick Martin, the CEO of MicroGen Diagnostics. He explains the technology, how the testing is done and how patients can work with their physicians in understanding the results. If you’ve truly wondered if you had a chronic UTI and/or are struggling with candida in your urine, this test may answer that question once and for all.

An Interview with Rick Martin, CEO of MicroGen Diagnostics

  1. Why is the older, Agar plate culture being replaced with genomic testing?
  2. Is genomic testing more accurate than broth cultures?
  3. When in genomic testing used?
  4. How is genomic testing done?
  5. How accurate is genomic testing?
  6. How do you differentiate between good vs. bad bacteria?
  7. Will the test identify candida or other complex fungal infections?
  8. Will the test identify viral infections
  9. How does the test identify drug resistances?
  10. Does a doctor have to order the test? Is a physician signature required?
  11. How should a patient approach their doctor about having this test?
  12. What do the test results look like?
  13. Do you have any research data showing effectiveness of Microgen’s testing methods?
  14. Does Microgen provide treatment recommendations?
  15. How much does it cost? (Just $199)
  16. What