We will determine whether key characteristics of the newly discovered female urinary microbiome, the bacterial community living in the bladder of many adult women, associate strongly with two common forms of urinary incontinence (stress urinary incontinence [SUI] and urgency urinary incontinence [UUI]). To perform this study, Loyola investigators will recruit approximately 1200 women (400 each from two, well- characterized urinary incontinence cohorts and 400 continent controls). They will determine whether certain bacterial species, or entire microbiomes, are related to urinary incontinence symptoms. A significant difference between these clinical subgroups would suggest a relationship between urinary incontinence and the female urinary microbiome (FUM). One FUM member with antibacterial properties will be studied. Our team has diverse expertise including clinicians specializing in urinary incontinence care, and scientists specializing in microbiology and bioinformatics.
This project will play a central clinical-translational role with participant recruitment, sample acquisition and data analysis focused on improving the quality-of-life for women with urinary incontinence.
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