Utility of DNA next-generation sequencing and expanded quantitative urine culture in diagnosis and management of chronic or persistent lower urinary tract symptoms

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Clinical Microbiology








DNA sequencing; Urinary microbiome; Urinary tract infection


Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Many patients suffer from chronic, irritative lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The evaluation and management of these patients have proven difficult with the use of standard diagnostic tools, including urinalysis and urine culture. The growing body of literature on the urinary microbiome has looked at the possible implications of the bladder microbiome and dysbiosis, or perturbations in the microbiome, in conditions associated with chronic LUTS. Disorders such as recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and interstitial cystitis have been studied utilizing 16S rRNA rapid next-generation gene sequencing (NGS) and expanded quantitative urine culture (EQUC). In this article, we first present a brief review of the literature describing the current understanding of the urinary microbiome and the features and applications of NGS and EQUC. Next, we discuss the conditions most commonly associated with chronic, persistent LUTS and present the limitations of current diagnostic practices utilized in this patient population. We then review the limited data available surrounding treatment efficacy and clinical outcomes in patients who have been managed based on results provided by these two recently established diagnostic tools (DNA NGS and/or EQUC). Finally, we propose a variety of clinical scenarios in which the use of these two techniques may affect patients’ clinical outcomes.

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