Debunking the common belief that normal urine is sterile, researchers evaluated urine specimens and have discovered that bacteria in the urine of healthy females. The study which appeared in European Urology could lead to new treatment for lower urinary tract disorders.
"The discovery of bacteria in the urine of healthy females provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of bladder health and disease," said Alan Wolfe, lead study author and professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). "Physicians and researchers must reassess their assumptions surrounding the cause of lower urinary tract disorders and consider new approaches to prevent and treat these debilitating health issues."
The researchers evaluated urine specimens collected directly from the bladder through an aspiration or a catheter to avoid contamination. These specimens were analysed using an expanded quantitative urine culture (EQUC) technique that identifies bacteria not detectable by the standard urine culture techniques typically used to diagnose urinary tract syndromes.
"While traditional urine cultures have been the gold standard to identify urine disorders in the past, they do not detect most bacteria and have limited utility as a result," Wolfe said.
Through their analysis, the researchers found that certain bacteria in the female bladder may contribute to symptoms of urinary incontinence. They also revealed that some bacteria are more common in women with urgency urinary incontinence than in healthy women.