Vaginal Bacteria Trigger Recurrent UTI

A kind of bacteria found in the vagina may trigger recurrent UTIs, according to a new study. Most UTIs are caused by the gut bacterium E. coli, which sometimes persists in bladder cells even after the infection has resolved. The vaginal bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis damages cells on the surface of the bladder, causing dormant E. coli to emerge from those cells and start multiplying again. In the image above, a bladder cell (blue) that has been exposed to G. vaginalis is dying and detaching from its neighboring cells (teal), revealing immature cells below (purple).
Image/Matthew Joens, James Fitzpatrick and Nicole Gilbert

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