Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 12:47 pm

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be a painful and sometimes chronic issue around 50% of women experience at least once in their lives

Scientists have finally found a way to help our bodies fight off the bacteria that causes UTIs before an infection happens. 

What are UTIs

While UTIs are not sexually transmitted, they can be mistaken for STIs because they are more likely in sexually active women with a new sexual partner. 

Men and women who are not sexually active can also get UTIs, although it is less common for men to be infected because they are biologically at a lower risk.

Many people believe you can get a UTI from a toilet seat, this is unlikely. According to WebMD, the, most common causes of UTIs are:

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  • wiping from the back to the front(bringing bacteria from the anus to the urethra
  • Not peeing after sex 
  • being diabetic
  • not drinking enough water
  • hormone changes (even using some forms of birth control)
  • A weakened immune system
  • pregnancy 

There is no medication to prevent UTIs

Although UTIs are a common occurrence, the medical fraternity had not yet found an effective vaccine, and sufferers relied on medication to treat infections because they could not prevent them. 

“Although several vaccines against UTIs have been investigated in clinical trials, they have so far had limited success,” said Soman Abraham, Ph.D., Grace Kerby Distinguished Professor of Pathology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Soman Abreaham is one of the authors of a study by Duke University that recently claimed to have found an effective UTI vaccine. 

How the vaccine works

The vaccine the study proposes is administered directly into the bladder. The purpose is to ‘teach’ the bladder to fight infection-causing bacteria before an infection occurs and possibly spreads to the rest of the urinary tract.

“The new vaccine strategy attempts to ‘teach’ the bladder to more effectively fight off the attacking bacteria. By administering the vaccine directly into the bladder where the residual bacteria harbor, the highly effective vaccine antigen, in combination with an adjuvant known to boost the recruitment of bacterial clearing cells, performed better than traditional intramuscular vaccination,” says Dr. Jianxuan Wu from the Department of Immunology at Duke University. 

Although the vaccine is not readily available yet, the study has shown that the vaccine is safe for humans and maybe the solution many people have been waiting for. 

Source: Duke University via Science Daily

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.