Postmenopausal Women Might Be Susceptible to Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Due to Bladder Bacteria - medtigo



Postmenopausal Women Might Be Susceptible to Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Due to Bladder Bacteria

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According to a study published in the Science Daily, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas found certain bladder bacteria; these bacteria may assist in identifying postmenopausal women who are at greater risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs), and estrogen may help lessen this risk.

UTIs affect women at a rate roughly 25% greater than males. UTIs afflicts over half of all women at some point in their life. The most common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in Escherichia coli. The most prevalent cause of recurrent UTIs is reinfection by the same bacteria (RUTI). Regular sexual activity is a crucial risk factor for genital STIs.

In a subgroup of individuals with concomitant diseases, urinary tract infections (UTIs) can develop complicated and produce urosepsis or a UTI. Antimicrobial treatment is the conventional first line of defense. However, antibiotic use can be reduced by preventative measures and other means.  

“We noticed a very significant correlation between helpful bacteria in the bladder and the use of estrogen hormone therapy in postmenopausal women,” says Dr. Nicole De Nisco, a research assistant professor at the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “Estrogen controls not just reproduction but several metabolic activities throughout the body. No positive benefits are felt when that hormone is no longer generated.”  

De Nisco was the corresponding author for a paper published in Cell Reports Medicine on September 30 and October 18, respectively. Urinary estrogens were shown to be highly linked with “good” bacteria in postmenopausal women with no history of UTIs.  

UTIs are one of the most prevalent adult medical problems, affecting more than half of all women at some point in their lives. A UTI is more frequent in elderly adults, as one might think. Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas collaborated with a urology professor from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to assess the findings of tests administered to 75 menopausal women.  

Michael Neugent BS’13, MS’19, PhD’20, the study’s lead author, is a postdoctoral fellow in De Nisco’s lab. He argues that UTIs and estrogen impact the microbiota of postmenopausal women’s urinary and vaginal tracts. The researchers discovered that “women with a history of recurrent UTIs who are now UTI-negative” had a microbiome rich in bacteria that might cause urinary tract infections but low in germs that are beneficial to human health.  

Contrary to this, estrogen-treated women were less likely to have “bad” germs. An enhanced microbiome defined by a predominance of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli was linked to higher estrogen levels in the urine. Women with a history of recurrent UTIs had more antibiotic-resistant genes in their microbiomes than women without a history of UTIs.

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains can rapidly spread across a population due to the possibility of horizontal gene transfer, making infection treatment more difficult. Despite the usefulness of drugs in eradicating disease-causing bacteria, De Nisco has stated that one of the key challenges in treating UTIs is incorrect antibiotic usage, which hastens the development of antibiotic resistance.  

Because “repeated infections will continue to spread,” as De Nisco put it, antibiotics alone will not be enough to end the epidemic. ” Innovative medicines that do not rely so much on antibiotics are necessary. As an alternative, we can employ hormones such as estrogen or provide a treatment combining estrogen and a probiotic.”  


According to De Nisco’s rough estimate, this new knowledge might influence the creation of revolutionary diagnostic and preventive technologies. In search of viable remedies, she is researching whole-cell vaccinations.  

Dr. Kelli Palmer, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UTD and a recognized specialist in antibiotic resistance, is one of the authors. She stated that the study’s importance stemmed from its focus on an underserved group.

This study, according to Palmer, fills a critical need by concentrating on the health of postmenopausal women. Persistent infections, such as UTIs in older women, necessitate more investigation and innovative treatment options.  

Dr. De Nisco and her colleagues want to investigate the microbiomes of postmenopausal women for five years, comparing those who have and have not previously had UTIs with those who have. According to de Nisco, “no one has done this type of longitudinal study in the urine microbiome sector,” making their work the first of its kind. “Such study is more challenging” since patients must often return to provide samples.

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