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The Role of the Genitourinary Microbiome in Pediatric Urology: a Review


Purpose of Review

In this review, we highlight the effects of the microbiome on urologic diseases that affect the pediatric patient.

Recent Findings

Perturbations in the urinary microbiome have been shown to be associated with a number of urologic diseases affecting children, namely urinary tract infection, overactive bladder/urge urinary incontinence, and urolithiasis.


Recently, improved cultivation and sequencing technologies have allowed for the discovery of a significant and diverse microbiome in the bladder, previously assumed to be sterile. Early studies aimed to identify the resident bacterial species and demonstrate the efficacy of sequencing and enhanced quantitative urine culture. More recently, research has sought to elucidate the association between the microbiome and urologic disease, as well as to demonstrate effects of manipulation of the microbiome on various urologic pathologies. With an improved appreciation for the impact of the urinary microbiome on urologic disease, researchers have begun to explore the impact of these resident bacteria in pediatric urology.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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The authors would like to thank Hans Pohl, M.D., for reviewing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Michael Hsieh.

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Daniel Gerber, Catherine Forster, and Michael Hsieh each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Pediatric Urology

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Gerber, D., Forster, C.S. & Hsieh, M. The Role of the Genitourinary Microbiome in Pediatric Urology: a Review. Curr Urol Rep 19, 13 (2018).

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  • Pediatric urology
  • Genitourinary microbiome
  • Urologic diseases
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urolithiasis