Griffith UniversityA urinary tract infection (UTI) is said to be a bacterial infection that affects any portion of the urinary tract. A research seems to propose that pathogenic strains of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are believed to be an under-recognised cause of urinary tract infections.

The bacteria are seemingly better known as a reason for infection in pregnant women with following risks of preterm delivery and transmission to newborn babies frequently with overwhelming effects.

Microbiologist Dr Glen Ulett, from the Griffith Institute for Health and Medical Research mentioned that pathogenic strains of GBS have supposedly been exhibited to attach to the surface of human bladder cells as the preliminary stride in the growth of urinary tract infections.

Dr. Ulett commented, “Affected cells appear to change their morphology and secrete significant amounts of interleukin, an inflammatory cytokine which activates the body’s immune system.”

He mentioned that the interleukin levels linked to GBS infection were believed to be considerably elevated as compared to those linked to Escherichia coli, presumably the cause of 90 per cent of urinary tract infections.

Dr. Ulett mentioned, “The fact that GBS causes more inflammation than E. coli was the exact opposite to what we expected and supports the notion that GBS urinary tract infection is unique and may cause disease at a lower bacterial count than is typical.”

He mentioned that since GBS is part of the standard microbial flora of the genital tract in roughly 40 per cent of fit women, isolation of the bacteria in urine samples was said to be frequently credited to infection of the sample rather than a likely pointer of disease.

Dr. Ulett quoted, “Because there are no clearly defined risk factors for GBS infection, the high prevalence of the bacteria, and the difficulties of diagnosis, we are probably often overlooking this organism as a cause of urinary tract infections.”

Dr Ulett mentioned that a clinical study of more than 34,000 patients published last year in partnership with Westmead Hospital, University of Queensland and the University of Alabama, seemingly exhibited that non-typeable GBS serotypes were not thought to be linked to urinary tract infections as was formerly believed.

Dr. Ulett remarked, “Importantly, we showed that GBS serotype III was the only serotype more commonly associated with urinary tract infections compared with other serotypes. This gives us a better understanding of the potential targets for vaccine development.”

He believes that while a vaccine to defend women against GBS urinary tract infections may not be precedence on its own, it could turn out to be a spin-off advantage from the necessity to shield newborn babies against fulminating GBS infection by means of maternal vaccination.

The research was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.