Why does E. coli cause so many bladder infections?

Burning pain when urinating, a false desire to urinate, and frequent urination in small amounts. These are the symptoms of cystitis, a urinary tract infection that is estimated to affect one in two women during her lifetime. The biggest culprit is a bacteria called Escherichia coli.

coli bacteria It occurs in the human intestine and can accidentally enter the urinary tract. These bacteria are not always pathogenic, but they do cause misery in the urinary tract. How can these bacteria grow so quickly in the sterile environment of urine?

That scientists from the University of Michigan. In previous research, they discovered that transport genes were crucial. These are genes that bacteria use to steal nutrients from the host. When scientists turned off these genes, the bacteria had difficulty growing. Under normal circumstances it is possible coli bacteria Absorbs thousands of nutrients per second.

Antibiotics

The new study showed which type of transporter genes were most important for growth in the urinary tract. The researchers identified the candidates through transmission genes coli bacteria Similar to the genes that cause urinary tract infections. The researchers then looked at whether the bacterial strains could grow in mouse urine when they disabled one of those candidate genes. If they turned off the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) genes, the bacteria did not grow. Bacteria use ATP, the energy contained in the cell, to absorb as many nutrients as possible.

When treatment prevents ATP from binding to genes, it may slow growth coli bacteria In the urinary tract. This is not easy, because bacteria have a backup copy of important transport genes. Therefore people with a bladder infection will not be immediately released from antibiotics. However, future treatment based on turning off specific genes could improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

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Megan Vasquez

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