Finally, a long-term solution for UTIs 10



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Over 60s women suffer from urinary tract infections more than any other demographic, as the tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy. They can often be frequent and painful, although they are common. UTIs are also known for their resistance to antibiotics, which is why they can reoccur even after you think you’ve combated it.

But there might be a light in the tunnel thanks to a new study that has shown a new drug that could increase the bladder’s resilience. In the study published in PLOS Pathogens, it has been found that an experimental drug that stabilises the human immune defence protein HIF-1α can protect human bladder cells and mice against a major UTI pathogen, and it might provide a therapeutic alternative or complement to antibiotic treatment.

HIF-1α is known to play a key role in modulating the innate (non-specific) immune response, which is the body’s first line of defence against intruding pathogens. However, HIF-1α is relatively short-lived so to increase HIF-1α levels, researchers have developed drugs that delay its break-down.

Previously, HIF-1α stabilisers have been used in clinical development for treatment of anemia, and in this study Victor Nizet, from the University of California, San Diego, USA, and colleagues explored the potential use of these drugs as “innate immune boosters” against uropathogenic E.coli (UPEC) bacteria that are a major cause of UTIs.

Amazingly, the scientists found that the treatment worked on human urinary tract cells. Further testing on mice showed that administration of HIF-1α stabilisers directly into the bladder protected the mice against UPEC infection of the bladder and kidney. They also found that invasion of bladder cells, a critical early step in the infection process, was reduced in treated mice compared to untreated ones.

Finally, the researchers examined whether treatment with the new drug would be beneficial even against an established UTI. To do this, they infected mice with UPEC first and then administered the drugs into the bladder six hours later. The treated mice had a more than 10-fold reduced rate of bladder colonisation, demonstrating that HIF-1α stabilisation is beneficial even after the initial infection. This is great news for those who often have UTIs.

The next steps include testing HIF-1α stabilisers in a clinical trial setting in humans, and making versions of the drug that can be taken orally and reach the urinary tract.


Tell us below: Do you often have UTIs? How do you usually treat them? Would you try this treatment in a trial?

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The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Oh yes I would be happy to be in this trial am at the moment trying a three month of antibiotics to help fix the problem not sure it’s working though only a month to go am so sick of having UTI have had them since I was about 16 years old and has gotten so much worse since menopause so sick of it

  2. I get recurring uti and hope this will eventuate in time for me to use . I would be interested in the clinical trial.

  3. Sounds good to me if you can get relief from it. I think nearly every second woman has had or has UTIs. It is very unpleasant.

  4. I would be interested in this as I seem to get them every other month and I am sure the antibotics are immune to it. Just finished a course now and they want me to get checked again in two weeks to see if there is any sign of it still in my system.

  5. Had the infections then the sensitivity long term. Found acupuncture really beneficial. Now on probiotics and only have occasional attacks of sensitivity when I am overtired or stressed. Have my citravescent, find the hot water bottle and relax. Does the job…. thank goodness! Louise Hay says that urinary tract infections are often related to you feeling p…. off about something in your life. Worth thinking about…..

  6. I have had this problem going back for some years, but in the last 2 years, things got so critical, I was scared of actually dying. Then I was given some new drug obtained only from the Gold Coast University Hospital, and it had to brought over in a special transport to Robina Hospital. I have forgotten what it is called, but it was a powder and had to be taken every 3 cays or a course lasting 9 days. Pleasant tasting, but it worked, I have not had another infection since before the 5th of Dec. 2014. Before that I would start a course of injections, one a day for 5 days, then 2 to 3 days later I was ill again, oh I had stones as well and urosepsis. Operated on at 11.39 pm in the middle of the night! My story is dramatic, I am a million times grateful to the researchers who have struggled with a cure or treatment to stabilize this terrible disorder and give a quality of life that is unmeasurable. Thankyou thankou is not enough.!!!!

  7. Have had continuing UTI for past 3 years. Now becoming multi drug resistant. I have been prescribed Hiprex and have now been taking this medication for 6weeks and have at last become UTI free !!!!
    Would be interested in this new clinical trial .

    1 REPLY
  8. I think it would be wonderful, I seem to live on antibiotics, and am on a course for three months am sick of it, they do not help much….

  9. O what a good break through I have been on antibiotics every day for years every time I try to go off them it comes back in a few days just hope it works best news yet

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