A new research study suggests that removing bacteria from the gut may help to prevent infection.
The findings from the study, published online today in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, indicate that removing the bacteria from your gut may prevent bacteria from entering your bloodstream.
Researchers found that individuals with higher levels of gut microbes in their bloodstreams were less likely to develop UTIs and other complications.
“In our study, we found that people who have higher levels in their gut, and have more bacteria in their intestines, were less susceptible to UTIs than those with lower levels in gut bacteria,” said lead author Dr. Elizabeth J. McArthur, a gastroenterologist at the University of Utah Medical Center.
“Our study shows that you can eliminate the bacteria in the gut from your blood stream and you can prevent UTIs in your blood by taking care of the gut microbiota.”
“This is a novel finding,” said Dr. David G. Bader, a professor of preventive medicine and microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who was not involved in the study.
“The gut microbiota plays a significant role in maintaining our gut health and our immune function,” he said.
“It also plays a role in regulating the immune system and our gut microbes, which can lead to a host of other diseases.”
We are very excited about this finding because it may offer new ways to help prevent infections.
“McArthur is the lead author of the study and an associate professor in the University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
She said the findings are promising because it’s possible to remove certain bacteria from one’s gut.”
This could be a way to reduce the risk of infection, and to help reduce complications like UTIs,” she said.
She added that this study is not meant to replace probiotics, the types of probiotics that are commonly prescribed for preventing UTIs.”
They have been shown to be safe, and it’s not clear if we should be using them as a preventative measure in the long term, or to treat a particular disease,” McArthur said.
McArthur said the study was a first step toward understanding the role of the microbiome in preventing UTI.”
What we found was that we were able to identify that those with higher gut bacteria had lower levels of a particular protein that is linked to the production of the antibiotic, ceftriaxone, which is produced by the gut microbiome,” she explained.”
There’s a lot of work to be done, but this is the first step in understanding what that protein is doing and what is happening with the gut bacteria.
“Bader, who also works in the UC Davis Department of Gastroenterology, added that these findings suggest that probiotics may not be the only way to treat UTIs, as the study found that there are other factors that may be involved in how the gut microbes affect the risk and severity of UTIs or other conditions.
McArthors study also found that one study had shown that individuals who had an elevated bacterial load in their guts were more likely to have UTIs over time.”
But there was no link between the bacteria load and the severity of the UTI,” McArthor said.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
McAvains research was supported by the Utah Medical Research Foundation and the American Gut Foundation.