Drug-resistant UTI bacteria can hide in the gut

By Catharine Paddock Ph.D.: For More Info, Go Here…

Doctors are finding it more and more difficult to treat a common infection because the bacteria that cause it are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Now, new research may have uncovered one reason for the pervasiveness of these superbugs.

Doctors frequently prescribe fluoroquinolones for the treatment of UTIs. The researchers note that, although there have been efforts to limit the use of these antibiotics, resistant strains of bacteria are spreading widely.

In addition, the researchers found that most of the fluoroquinolone resistant E. coli bacteria also belonged to two widespread, multidrug resistant strains that are responsible for most hard-to-treat urinary and blood infections.

The researchers also tested urine samples that the women had given at the same times as the stool samples.

These tests revealed that more than one-third of the women with fluoroquinolone resistant E. coligut bacteria also had E.coli in their urine. Of these, almost 77% had fluoroquinolone resistant strains that matched those of their stool samples.

Of the women, 45 also gave permission for the team to track their medical records. These showed that 7% of them went on to receive diagnoses of UTI some 3 months later.

‘Superior, persistent gut colonizers’

The study authors describe the two drug resistant strains of E.coli that they found as “superior gut colonizers” that “tend to persist there.”

“They can also show up,” they note, “at an unusually high rate, in the urine of healthy women who did not have a documented urinary tract infection diagnosis at the time of sample testing.”

“Both phenomena appear to be interconnected,” they add.

The findings could have a number of clinical implications concerning the care and control of infections, says senior study author Dr. Evgeni V. Sokurenko, a professor of microbiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.

He suggests that testing for multidrug resistant bacteria in the gut could help doctors predict how strongly a woman’s infection might resist drug treatment.

It might also be necessary to have a policy about what doctors should do if they find resistant bacteria in the urine of patients who have no symptoms of infection.

Ridding carriers of widespread resistant strains could potentially reduce their risk of multidrug resistant infections, Dr. Sokurenko suggests. It could also reduce the risk of such infections in those with whom they come into contact.

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