An exciting research study which finds that it is normal for bacteria to live in the bladders of healthy women, and that urine is not sterile. After further studies on the microbial communities in the bladder, perhaps bacterial treatments for various urinary problems? From Science Daily:
Bacteria live in the bladders of healthy women, discrediting the common belief that normal urine is sterile. This study also revealed that bladder bacteria in healthy women differ from the bladder bacteria in women affected by overactive bladder (OAB), which causes a sudden need to urinate.
Approximately 15 percent of women suffer from OAB 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.
"If we can determine that certain bacteria cause OAB symptoms, we may be able to better identify those at risk for this condition and more effectively treat them," said Alan Wolfe, PhD, co-investigator and professor of Microbiology and Immunology, SSOM.
This study evaluated urine specimens of 90 women with and without OAB symptoms. Urine samples were collected through a catheter and analyzed using an expanded quantitative urine culture (EQUC) technique. This EQUC technique was able to find bacteria that are not identified by the standard urine culture techniques typically used to diagnose urinary tract syndromes.
Loyola researchers now plan to determine which bacteria in the bladder are helpful and which are harmful. They also will look at how these bacteria interact with each other and with their host, and how we can use this information to help patients.