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"We have read for you": bladder microbiome

Before, there was talk of intestinal microbiome. Then of vaginal microbiome. Now it seems that microorganisms in the female bladder also play an important role in health.

In recent times, therefore, we hear most often about "bladder microbiome". For some time, we know that bladder may contain bacteria, but this condition was usually treated as an infection.

For the first time, Australian researchers have identified colonies of bacteria that live in the female bladder in absence of an infection. The study in question is entitled "Culturing of female bladder bacteria reveals an interconnected urogenital microbiota". The lead author of the study published in Nature is Dr. Samuel Forster of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

Results obtained paint a more complete picture of bladder ecosystem - which was believed to be sterile - and could provide new information on urinary tract infections prevention and treatment.

Scientific research has shown that good bacteria of female reproductive tract are able to colonize the bladder without causing infections. Dr. Forster and his colleagues, using genome sequencing technology, isolated 149 bacterial strains from 77 women bladders.

Hence the discovery that good and pathogenic bacteria move freely between the bladder and the female reproductive tract, even in healthy women. The team noted that about two-thirds of all bacterial species in the bladder are also found in the female reproductive tract.

Culture has found 78 different species including Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. The phylogenetic analysis of bacterial strains isolated from vagina and bladder in the same women identify similar species such as: Escherichia coli, Streptococcus anginosus, Lactobacillus iners and Lactobacillus crispatus.

These data suggest that female urogenital microbiota is interconnected: there is not only the passage of pathogens, but also the passage of the guests associated with maintenance health.

Dr. Forster and his team state that the discovery of the microbiome suggests that UTIs, caused by bacteria entering the urethra, may be influenced by the balance existing between "good" and "bad" bacteria in the bladder.

Dr. Forster and his team state that the discovery of the microbiome suggests that UTIs, caused by bacteria entering the urethra, may be influenced by the existing balance between "good" and "bad" bacteria in the bladder.

The study concludes by suggesting the importance of developing new strategies aimed at preserving good bacteria by exploiting their protective action rather than eliminating them along with pathogenic bacteria. The next phase of the research, according to Dr. Forster is to examine the different types of bacteria in the bladder more closely and to study how these can help or hinder our immune defenses.

It is currently a common practice to treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics which essentially eliminates all bacteria.

So the question we had been asking ourselves for a long time: "the antibiotics that are used to kill "bad" bacteria in patients with UTI, can upset the balance of “good” bacteria that have a protective effect?" now finds an affirmative answer.

Iain Duggin, a microbiologist of the University of Technology in Sydney, who was not involved in the study, said that this study could be of great help in finding new treatments for urinary tract infections that would otherwise remain intractable due to increasing resistance to antibiotics.

We know that antibiotic resistance is globally increasing drastically and urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections in the world.

There is therefore a real need to research new therapeutic options in cases of UTI and any other infection caused by bacteria.

Therefore the use of antibiotics should not be banned, their use should be limited to specific and particular cases, while safer and more effective alternative approaches should be encouraged.

The idea that the human bladder (and therefore urine) was sterile has become a new myth to be dispelled in the medical field.

Obstetrician Sara Furno

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