Profiling the Urinary Microbiome in Men with Positive versus Negative Biopsies for Prostate Cancer

Eva Shrestha, James R. White, Shu Han Yu, Ibrahim Kulac, Onur Ertunc, Angelo M. De Marzo, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Leslie A. Mangold, Alan W. Partin, Karen S. Sfanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Studies demonstrating bacterial DNA and cultivable bacteria in urine samples have challenged the clinical dogma that urine is sterile. Furthermore, studies now indicate that dysbiosis of the urinary microbiome is associated with pathological conditions. We propose that the urinary microbiome may influence chronic inflammation observed in the prostate, leading to prostate cancer development and progression. Therefore, we profiled the urinary microbiome in men with positive vs negative biopsies for prostate cancer. Materials and Methods Urine was collected from men prior to biopsy for prostate cancer. DNA was extracted from urine pellet samples and subjected to bacterial 16S rDNA Illumina® sequencing and 16S rDNA quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We determined the association between bacterial species and the presence or absence of cancer, cancer grade, and type and degree of prostate inflammation. Results Urine samples revealed diverse bacterial populations. There were no significant differences in α or β diversity and no clear hierarchical clustering of benign or cancer samples. We identified a cluster of pro-inflammatory bacteria previously implicated in urogenital infections in a subset of samples. Many species, including known uropathogens, were significantly and differentially abundant among cancer and benign samples, in low vs higher grade cancers and in relation to prostate inflammation type and degree. Conclusions To our knowledge we report the most comprehensive study to date of the male urinary microbiome and its relationship to prostate cancer. Our results suggest a prevalence of pro-inflammatory bacteria and uropathogens in the urinary tract of men with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • bacteria
  • inflammation
  • microbiota
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • urinary tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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