(HealthDay News) — Women with recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs) have a gut microbiome that is significantly depleted in microbial richness and butyrate-producing bacteria, according to a study published online in Nature Microbiology.

Colin J. Worby, PhD, from Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues conducted a year-long study among 15 women with and 16 women without a history of rUTI. Urine, blood, and monthly fecal samples were collected for metagenomic and transcriptomic interrogation. Twenty-four UTIs were reported during the study; additional samples were collected during and after infection.

The researchers found that compared with controls, the gut microbiome of women with a history of rUTI was significantly depleted in microbial richness and butyrate-producing bacteria, similar to other inflammatory conditions. Between the cohorts, Escherichia coli gut and bladder populations were comparable in terms of relative abundance and phylogroup. Expression profiles indicative of differential systemic immunity between cohorts were seen in transcriptional analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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“We think that women in the control group were able to clear the bacteria from their bladders before they caused disease, and women with recurrent UTI were not, because of a distinct immune response to bacterial invasion of the bladder potentially mediated by the gut microbiome,” Worby said in a statement.

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