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Single mutation makes Escherichia coli an insect mutualist

While a massive research investment is made in exploring the reasons for recurrent UTIs and understanding how the most commonly encountered pathogen, Escherichia coli, live symbiotically in the gut till it repeatedly migrates to the urinary tract and causes recurrent UTIs, we still don’t have a clear understanding. Specifically, how the symbioses between the bacteria and host might have evolved over time in nature and what impact it might have on this burgeoning problem of recurrent UTIs.

In a very novel study, scientists from Japan used E. coli and stinkbug (Plautia stali) as a model. They discovered that a single mutation could prompt E. coli to evolve and live symbiotically in its host and pass its traits to generations, mutually benefitting its host as well as itself.

While the scientific community continues to make strides in different fronts of managing and diagnosing UTIs, 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 right path forward in keeping the massive public health burden down.

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