Original Source: http://www.kashmirmonitor.in/news-new-device-to-improve-urinary-infections-treatment-90876.aspx
Urinary tract infections could be treated more quickly and efficiently using a DNA sequencing device the size of a USB stick, says a study.
“We found that this device, which is the size of a USB stick, could detect the bacteria in heavily infected urine – and provide its DNA sequence in just 12 hours. This is a quarter of the time needed for conventional microbiology,” said one of the researchers Justin O’Grady from University of East Anglia in England.
The new device called MinION detected bacteria from urine samples four times more quickly than traditional methods of culturing bacteria.
The new method can also detect antibiotic resistance – allowing patients to be treated more effectively, the researchers said.
“Swift results like these will make it possible to refine a patient’s treatment much earlier – and that is good for the patient, who gets the ‘right’ antibiotic,” O’Grady said.
“This technology is rapid and capable not only of identifying the bacteria in UTIs (urinary tract infections), but also detecting drug-resistance at the point of clinical need,” O’Grady noted.
Professor David Livermore from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School explained that urinary tract infections are among the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics.
“Antibiotics are vital, especially if bacteria has entered the bloodstream, and must be given urgently. But unfortunately it takes two days to grow the bacteria in the lab and test which antibiotics kill them,” Livermore noted.
As a result, doctors must prescribe a broad range antibiotics, targeting the bacteria most likely to be responsible, and then adjust treatment once the lab results come through, he pointed out.
“This ‘carpet-bombing’ approach represents poor antibiotic stewardship, and it is vital that we move beyond it. The way to do so lies in accelerating laboratory investigation, so that treatment can be refined earlier, benefitting the patient, who gets an effective antibiotic, and society, whose diminishing stock of antibiotics is better managed,” Livermore said.
The findings were presented at an international medical conference run jointly by the American Society for Microbiology’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the International Society of Chemotherapy (ICC) at San Diego in the US.
Do you ever experience a burning sensation when urinating? Do you get the urge to urinate more frequently than usual? These could be signs of a urinary tract infection, the second most common type of infection in humans.
The urinary tract is made up of the organs of the body that produce, store and discharge urine. These organs include the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. This system can be divided into upper urinary tract comprising of the ureters and kidneys and the lower urinary tract being the bladder and the urethra.
The urinary system does several important jobs. It removes liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. It also regulates, keeping a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The system also produces a hormone that is essential in the formation of red blood cells and also an enzyme that plays a role in blood pressure. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure by adjusting the volume of blood as well as the flow in and out of them.
What causes infection? This very important system of the body, however, gets infected frequently. The lower urinary tract tends to be more prone to infections. The most common cause of urinary tract infections is bacteria within the body. The bacteria from the bowel that is found on the skin near the rectum or vagina may spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra causing urethritis. The infection may go up to the bladder, infecting the bladder (cystitis). When it reaches the kidneys it causes a more serious infection called pyelonephritis. Germs may be introduced into the urethra by wiping from back to front after bowel movement.
Infections may be introduced also by anything that obstructs or delays the flow of urine, for example kidney stones or holding urine longer. Weakening of the bladder muscles also allows residual urine, which promotes multiplication of the germs. Sexual activities and introduction of foreign bodies into the urethra also encourages infections. Women are more prone to urinary tract infection due to their shorter urethras and the close proximity to the anus.
For men, uncircumcised individuals are at greater risk of urinary tract infection as the foreskin of the penis makes it easier for the germs to get trapped and enter the urinary system. In an elderly man, an enlarged or infected prostate increases the risk of urinary tract infection. Unprotected sex and anal sex also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
These are the symptoms and signs of urinary tract infection: Urinating more often or waking up from sleep to urinate; urine that smells bad; the urine may be cloudy or tinged with blood; pain or burning when you urinate; very little urine produced and the urge to urinate recurs quickly; and pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. When the infection spreads up to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) this could be more serious and can cause shaking chills with a fever.
This may be associated with side pain or lower back pain that gets worse. Vomiting may also occur.
There are simple steps that help preventing urinary tract infections: Drink plenty of fluids, drinking a lot of water (six to eight glasses of water daily) leads to passing a lot of urine which has the effect of flushing the urinary tract. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement to avoid introducing anal bacteria. Avoid holding urine for long periods of time; urinate as soon as you feel the need.
Good hygiene is of great importance in preventing urinary tract infections. Both men and women ought to exercise good hygiene before and after sexual intercourse. Hygiene in men is significantly improved by undergoing circumcision. Medical male circumcision is offered free in government health services and covered by medical aid, so ask your health provider.
If one suspects having urinary tract infection, take lots of fluid especially water and visit the nearest clinic or doctor. The nurse/doctor will take note of your symptoms, examine you and may take a sample of your urine for analysis. Urinary tract infection may be treated with oral antibiotics and with more severe cases hospitalisation may be necessary.
• Dr Emmanuel Tom is a general medical practitioner at Wanaheda Medical Centre in Windhoek (e-mail: email@example.com).
Centuries ago, doctors tasted their patients’ urine to diagnose diabetes. If it was sweet, it meant the body wasn’t properly clearing away glucose. Fortunately, we have more advanced — and much less gross — medical tests available today, but the ancient clinicians were on to something: Your pee is an excellent predictor of your health.
“Urine is a byproduct that includes fluids and other filtrates that come out of your body so it can tell you what’s going on inside,” says Tomas Griebling, M.D., M.P.H., vice chair of the department of urology at the University of Kansas. Take a peek at your pee before you flush, and watch out for these six signs.
The sign: Dark yellow color
What it means: You’re dehydrated—but you probably already knew that. What you may not know is that even short-term dehydration, like not guzzling enough fluids during your work day or workout, can set you up for more serious bladder conditions down the road. “When you’re dehydrated, your body tries to conserve fluid so your urine becomes more concentrated,” Dr. Griebling says. The chemicals in your urine come into contact with the lining of your bladder and can cause irritation, which may lead to incontinence or an infection. Ideally, your pee should be consistently clear or light yellow. Up your H2O intake if it’s dark to help restore hydration.
The sign: Red urine
What it means: There’s blood in your pee, a condition called hematuria. That’s never normal, “so you should get it checked out as soon as possible,” Dr. Griebling says. Causes of bloody urine include trauma, kidney disease or cancer, inflammation or an infection in the kidneys, and more. Taking blood thinners can also make your urine red, but it’s still important to see a doc, stat.
The sign: Strong-smelling urine
What it means: First, rule out any foods or drinks you recently had. “The classic example is asparagus,” says Dr. Griebling. Some people have an enzyme that breaks down asparagus to a compound with a strong odor that you’ll notice within 20 to 30 minutes of eating the vegetable. That’s nothing to worry about. Coffee can also make urine smell, especially if you’re dehydrated. Bacteria that causes a urinary tract infection (UTI) can also produce a foul smell. If you have any other signs of a UTI, such as burning when you pee, a fever, or cloudy urine, let your doc know. You may need an antibiotic to fight off the infection.
The sign: Foamy or bubbly urine
What it means: You could have kidney disease. When your kidney’s filtering units aren’t working properly, that can lead to a build-up of protein in your urine. The protein then creates a foamy appearance when it hits the water in the toilet. You may be at risk for kidney disease if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family member with the condition.
The sign: Increased urgency or frequency
What it means: You might have an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate gland surrounds the urethra through which urine leaves the body. As the gland grows bigger, it can press on the urethra and cause a variety of changes in urination. Urgency means you need to go right away and you may have difficulty holding it in. With increased frequency, you feel the need to go more often and may wake up several times at night to use the bathroom.
“Many people think that drinking less water will help with urgency and frequency, but dehydration can cause urinary issues, too,” Dr. Griebling says. BPH can also cause incomplete emptying of your bladder, so you still feel like you have to go even after taking a leak. Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in urination. There are many treatments available for BPH including kegel exercises, medications, and surgery, if needed—but also lifestyle changes, like physical activity and limiting alcohol and caffeine. In addition, your doctor may evaluate your current medication regimen, since certain decongestants and antihistamines may increase BPH symptoms.
The sign: Air or gas coming out
What it means: Bacteria in your bladder may produce gas that releases when you pee. If you have any signs of a UTI, schedule face time with your physician. Although less likely, you could have a fistula, an abnormal opening within the bladder or between the bladder and colon. You could be at risk for developing a fistula if you have a history of Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel disease—and you may need surgery to correct the condition.