Bladder bacteria vary with types of incontinence

October 21, 2013

Women with common forms of urinary incontinence have various bacteria in their bladder, according to a recent study, and some of these bacteria may differ based on their incontinence type.

Women with common forms of urinary incontinence have various bacteria in their bladder, according to a recent study, and some of these bacteria may differ based on their incontinence type.

The study’s findings were presented at the American Urogynecologic Society annual meeting in Las Vegas by researchers from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago. They stem from Loyola’s Urinary Research and Educational Collaboration, an institutional effort to identify and characterize urinary bacteria and how they relate to urinary health and disease.

“Loyola’s Urinary Research and Educational Collaboration has allowed us to identify valuable information about the existence and function of bacteria in the female lower urinary tract,” said co-lead investigator Linda Brubaker, MD, MS. “This information may help us more effectively treat women whose incontinence symptoms persist despite appropriate evaluation and medical treatment.”

The current study analyzed urine samples from women with stress incontinence, predominant stress incontinence, urgency incontinence, and predominant urgency incontinence. Volunteers in each group contributed catheterized urine samples. Each urine sample was analyzed in several ways: conventional urine culture, Gram stain analysis, and DNA sequencing analysis.

The bacteria in women with urgency incontinence and predominant urgency incontinence were easily distinguishable from the bacteria in women with stress incontinence and predominant stress incontinence, the researchers reported.

 “While further research is needed, evaluating the urinary microbiome may be a useful tool to characterize women with urinary incontinence prior to and following treatment to better treat their condition,” Dr. Brubaker said.

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