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.

Public Health Relevance

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.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Bavendam, Tamara G
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Loyola University Chicago
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Kramer, Holly; Kuffel, Gina; Thomas-White, Krystal et al. (2018) Diversity of the midstream urine microbiome in adults with chronic kidney disease. Int Urol Nephrol 50:1123-1130
Garretto, Andrea; Thomas-White, Krystal; Wolfe, Alan J et al. (2018) Detecting viral genomes in the female urinary microbiome. J Gen Virol 99:1141-1146
Thomas-White, Krystal; Forster, Samuel C; Kumar, Nitin et al. (2018) Culturing of female bladder bacteria reveals an interconnected urogenital microbiota. Nat Commun 9:1557
Miller-Ensminger, Taylor; Garretto, Andrea; Brenner, Jonathon et al. (2018) Bacteriophages of the Urinary Microbiome. J Bacteriol 200:
Thomas-White, Krystal J; Kliethermes, Stephanie; Rickey, Leslie et al. (2017) Evaluation of the urinary microbiota of women with uncomplicated stress urinary incontinence. Am J Obstet Gynecol 216:55.e1-55.e16
Brubaker, Linda; Wolfe, Alan J (2017) The Female Urinary Microbiota/Microbiome: Clinical and Research Implications. Rambam Maimonides Med J 8:
Brubaker, Linda; Wolfe, Alan J (2017) Microbiota in 2016: Associating infection and incontinence with the female urinary microbiota. Nat Rev Urol 14:72-74
Mueller, Elizabeth R; Wolfe, Alan J; Brubaker, Linda (2017) Female urinary microbiota. Curr Opin Urol 27:282-286
Gao, Xiang; Lin, Huaiying; Dong, Qunfeng (2017) A Dirichlet-Multinomial Bayes Classifier for Disease Diagnosis with Microbial Compositions. mSphere 2:
Dune, Tanaka J; Price, Travis K; Hilt, Evann E et al. (2017) Urinary Symptoms and Their Associations With Urinary Tract Infections in Urogynecologic Patients. Obstet Gynecol 130:718-725

Showing the most recent 10 out of 14 publications