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Bacteria's shapeshifting behavior clue to new treatments for urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can infect anywhere from the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, are both very common and potentially very dangerous. Unfortunately, UTIs can be difficult to diagnose, and most often patients are treated based on symptoms. Such a diagnosis based on clinical criteria alone has an error rate of approximately 33%. Moreover, about 80% of UTIs are caused by uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), which is increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

Scientists all around the world are trying different approaches in both the therapeutic and diagnostic arena specifically around UPEC.

Scientists from Australia studied the shapeshifting behavior of UPEC and reported that UPEC alters its morphology from normal rod shapes to spaghetti-like filaments, hundreds of times their normal lengths during the UTI infection. While such new approaches seem very promising for discovering new treatments or prevention in the future, as of today diagnosing the infection right away using prominent diagnostic kits like Acutis Reveal™ urinary tract infection (UTI) test, a multiplex PCR-based test covering 31 major urinary tract pathogens including gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria and fungi with 96-100%sensitivity and 100% specificity, is the only way forward in keeping the massive public health burden down.

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