Urinary tract infections and long-term bladder health

More effective treatments for bladder dysfunction and pelvic pain could be a step closer, with Flinders University researchers looking to bridge the gap in understanding the role urinary tract infections (UTIs) play in long term bladder changes and disorders.


Lower urinary tract symptoms, including urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and pelvic pain are a major, but underacknowledged, clinical issue affecting more than 1.2 billion people globally. 

These symptoms are a significant health care burden, reducing the quality of life for around 15 per cent of western populations, and are key clinical features of chronic urological disorders such as bladder pain syndrome and overactive bladder syndrome. 

But effective treatment options are limited due to a fundamental lack of understanding into how sensations from the bladder are generated and transmitted to the brain. How these signals change in response to common urinary tract infections is also unclear despite many studies identifying a link between severe and/or recurrent urinary tract infections and the development of lower urinary tract symptoms in later life. 

Dr Grundy hopes understanding these processes will open the door for the development of more effective treatments for bladder dysfunction and pelvic pain without debilitating side effects. 

This work opens the door for the development of more effective treatments for bladder dysfunction and pelvic pain without debilitating side effects.


Project title: Identifying the contribution of urinary tract infection (UTI) to the development of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)

Lead researcher: Dr Luke Grundy 

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