Repeated cystitis, a vaccine could fight them

Repeated cystitis, a vaccine could fight them

A vaccine capable of fighting repeated cystitis is being studied. In the meantime, the correct diet is fundamental

For many women, urinary tract infections are an enemy that recurs cyclically, with classic ailments such as heartburn, a constant feeling of having to urinate, sometimes even pain.

Very often they are caused by germs of the Escherichia coli family, which tend to concentrate in the bladder and which can be difficult to completely defeat with antibiotic therapies. To face the enemy, in the future, one could also focus on a kind of specific vaccine, capable of eliminating even the most stubborn bacteria, which adhere to the bladder wall and continue to replicate. To give this hope is a study, for now only on mice, published in the prestigious journal PNAS (Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences), the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

A frontier research

The research, coordinated by experts from Duke University of Durham, was carried out only on experimental animals. But it paves the way for future studies on this line, which could lead to satisfactory results. The approach involves creating a system to "organize" the immune system and teach it to attack the most recalcitrant bacteria, which remain hidden even after treatment and therefore can regenerate the infection over time.

The vaccine is administered directly inside the bladder and, in addition to the immunological stimulus, also provides for the action of a special adjuvant, or a sort of energizer "which makes the reaction more effective. In practice, therefore, it is possible to associate a carefully chosen antigen (the antigen is the "spring" that triggers the production of specific antibodies to an infectious agent by the organism) with a compound that still amplifies its action.

In mice, this approach has almost completely eliminated the germs present in the bladder, as well as causing a sort of "resistance" of the immune system to Escherichia coli. We are only at the beginning, it must be said, but the hope is that future clinical studies will confirm this working hypothesis.

For the moment, in any case, the reality of cystitis to which the woman is more exposed than the man remains. The urethra, the thin tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside, is much shorter in females, and this justifies the greater ease of germs found outside to go up to the bladder. Furthermore, close to the external part of the urethra there are both the anus and the vagina in women, from which bacteria can quickly pass to the urinary tract. Without forgetting that around the place where the urethra "opens" the environment is very humid and this condition favors the growth of bacteria.

When a bacterial load manages to colonize any tract of the urinary tract we are faced with an infection, and if the infection reaches the bladder we are therefore talking about cystitis. Bacteria can come from various locations in the body through the path that takes the name of "ascending canal", through the blood or through what is called the "entero-urinary circulation" and that is a real communication route between the last tract of the gastrointestinal tract and lower urinary tract.

Attention at the table

In addition to carefully following the doctor's prescriptions, especially if antibiotic therapy is indicated, let's not forget that for those who often suffer from cystitis, the natural "washing" of the bladder produced by urine is a very effective defensive and preventive weapon. This means drinking a lot, to reduce the risk of having very concentrated urine.

Without forgetting that drinking is not enough, but you must also pay attention to what is introduced into the body. The ideal, for those who are often victims of cystitis, is to create an environment that is difficult for germs to bear. For this purpose, the drinks that allow to "acidify" the urine are indicated, since bacteria reproduce with greater difficulty in an acidic environment. Citrus fruit juices are fine, and in particular lemons, while coffee, tea, alcohol are to be reduced.

As happens for those who overdo it with too spicy foods, in fact, an excess in the consumption of alcohol and caffeine could be irritating to the inner wall of the bladder and therefore facilitate the development of germs. At the table it is then necessary to regularly consume foods rich in proteins, such as meat, fish, milk and derivatives. The protein-rich diet favors the production of urine. On the contrary, it is better to avoid excesses in the consumption of bread, pasta or other carbohydrates, which can reduce the flow of urine. Especially at dinner, because the urine of the night is very concentrated. Finally, it is better not to underestimate the help that can come from vegetables such as cabbage, leek, chicory, artichoke and onions, which can help heal cystitis.

Read also

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  • The diet to fight cystitis and prevent relapses
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Tag: Cystitis Vaccines

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