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Urinary microbiome in uncomplicated and interstitial cystitis: is there any similarity?



Acute/uncomplicated cystitis is the most common bacterial infection causing inflammation in the bladder tissues and predominantly diagnosed in women. Interstitial cystitis may too, cause inflammation in the bladder but its etiology has been elusive. Even though the site and symptoms of both diseases are largely shared, state of the urinary microbiome in these disorders have not been comparatively evaluated before. The purpose of this review is to assess and qualitatively compare structure and composition of the urinary microbiome in acute/uncomplicated cystitis and interstitial cystitis.

Methods and results

The available literature in MEDLINE are extensively searched using keywords and screened. Pertinent evidence is carefully assessed and synthesized. We included the original studies with a cohort of medically stable, non-pregnant women with otherwise functionally normal urinary tract and excluded the original articles if the infection in a patient’s cohort is accompanied by urinary syndromes such as incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome. A total of six original papers reporting on the urinary microbiome in acute cystitis and nine papers on the interstitial cystitis met the selection criteria.


The evidence we have gleaned from the literature on the urinary microbiome associated with the acute and interstitial cystitis does not point to convergence of microbiome similarities between the two diseases. More studies with direct sampling of the bladder tissues besides sampling bladder surfaces are warranted for accurate comparison of microbiome similarity between the two conditions. The future research on interstitial cystitis microbiome should include stratified cohorts with prospective design.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Literature search performed by SY; interpretation of the results and manuscript writing/editing performed by all authors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Süleyman Yıldırım or Pilar Laguna.

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Yıldırım, S., Shoskes, D., Kulkarni, S. et al. Urinary microbiome in uncomplicated and interstitial cystitis: is there any similarity?. World J Urol (2020).

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  • Utis
  • Cystitis
  • Urinary microbiome
  • 16S rRNA
  • Metagenomics