Loyola Medicine Logo 01 Human urine is generally examined in case of medical conditions, which is otherwise considered to be free of any form of contamination. Negating this common belief, scientists at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) have shown that urine may not be considered as sterile.

This is because some germs are apparently present in the urinary bladders of certain healthy women. For the trial, the team inspected urine samples of women showing symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTI).The specimens were collected by means of catheters or via other surgical avenues. They were then scrutinized using advanced forms of DNA-based identification techniques.

“While urine cultures have been the gold standard to identify UTIs in the past, they have limited utility. They are not as effective as the DNA-based detection measures used in this study,” commented Alan Wolfe, PhD, co-author and professor of Microbiology and Immunology, SSOM.

As per the observations, certain kinds of bacteria seemed to be present in the urinary bladders of adult women. These germs are generally not detectable by standard culture methods used for the diagnosis of UTIs.

Another finding of the study was that collecting urine samples using catheters or needles was apparently better than catching them in containers. This is primarily because bacteria from the vagina enter the samples in the process. Moreover, it was essential to classify germs as good or bad with respect to UTIs, the scientists added.

The results could also help identify women at higher risk for UTIs and may modify the ways by which patients are treated. The report is published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.