The Urinary Tract Microbiome in Health and Disease

The urinary tract, previously considered a sterile body niche, has emerged as the host of an array of bacteria in healthy individuals, revolutionizing the urology research field.

To review the literature on microbiome implications in the urinary tract and the usefulness of probiotics/prebiotics and diet as treatment for urologic disorders.

A systematic review was conducted using PubMed and Medline from inception until July 2016. The initial search identified 1419 studies and 89 were included in this systematic review.

Specific bacterial communities have been found in the healthy urinary tract. Changes in this microbiome have been observed in certain urologic disorders such as urinary incontinence, urologic cancers, interstitial cystitis, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, sexually transmitted infections, and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The role of probiotics, prebiotics, and diet as treatment or preventive agents for urologic disorders requires further investigation.

There is a microbiome associated with the healthy urinary tract that can change in urologic disorders. This represents a propitious context to identify new diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive microbiome-based biomarkers that could be used in clinical urology practice. In addition, probiotics, prebiotics, and diet modifications appear to represent an opportunity to regulate the urinary microbiome.

We review the urinary microbiome of healthy individuals and its changes in relation to urinary disorders. The question to resolve is how we can modulate the microbiome to improve urinary tract health.

European urology focus. 2016 Nov 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Isabel M Aragón, Bernardo Herrera-Imbroda, María I Queipo-Ortuño, Elisabeth Castillo, Julia Sequeira-García Del Moral, Jaime Gómez-Millán, Gozde Yucel, María F Lara

Department of Urology, Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital, Malaga, Spain., Service of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Biomedical Research Institute,, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain; Biomedical Research Networking Center for Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition, Madrid, Spain., Urology Unit, University Hospital Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain., Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain., Program in Epithelial Biology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA., Department of Urology, Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital, Malaga, Spain. Electronic address: .