First, it was the gut microbiome, a large ecosystem of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans that live in our digestive pipes. The gut microbiome has proven itself vital, breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and training our immune systems.
Now, microorganisms in the female bladder are the new kids on the block.
For the first time ever, researchers have found this collection of bacteria living in the female bladder, existing even in the absence of infection. It has been named the “bladder microbiome”. This is a huge breakthrough for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, proving that the idea that the human bladder is sterile is a medical myth.
Scientists have known that the bladder contains bacteria for some time now, but not without infection present. This new discovery will help researchers understand why some people are more susceptible to UTIs and will help provide new approaches to effective treatment.
Currently, it is standard practice to treat UTIs with a course of antibiotics, obliterating all bacteria in the area. Does it raise the question that if antibiotics are being used to kill the bad bacteria in UTI patients, is it possible that in doing so, this disturbs the healthy bacteria that have a protective effect? Perhaps this is why some don’t respond well to normal UTI treatment.
This new research is promising; researchers hope that it will help to uncover other courses of treatment that will protect the good bacteria, instead of destroying it altogether.