United Spinal Seeks Volunteers for UTI Study

United Spinal Association is recruiting volunteers who have spinal cord injury (SCI) to participate in a study that will investigate a possible way to combat urinary tract infections and urinary symptoms among people who use intermittent catheterization.

United Spinal is partnering with a team at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., that will be conducting the study.

At the heart of the research is whether a “good” bacteria called lactobacillus could help reduce urinary tract problems in people with SCI. The MedStar National team had noticed that in a previous study, participants with bladder dysfunction caused by SCI or spinal cord disease had significantly lower levels of lactobacillus in their urine.

Suzanne Groah, M.D., MSPH, SCI researcher at MedStar National said, “In response to this finding, we have decided to investigate whether lactobacillus, when put back into the bladder, might have a role in controlling the growth of bacteria that cause urinary tract infection, which may limit urinary symptoms and possibly reduce the need for antibiotics.”

While lactobacillus is a probiotic that’s naturally found in the human body and is most typically associated with digestion, the MedStar National study will examine the bacteria’s potential benefits in maintaining healthy bladders.

Study volunteers, who can live anywhere in the United States, will participate for 18 months. That period will be divided into three six-month phases. Phase 1 involves completing a weekly survey. Phase 2 involves completing a weekly survey and adding lactobacillus into the bladder when urinary symptoms occur. The last phase involves completing the weekly surveys.

For more information on the study, contact Inger Ljungberg, MPH, at MedStar National by calling (202) 877-1694, or e-mailing inger.h.ljungberg@medstar.net.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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