Purpose: Alterations in the urinary microbiome have been associated with urological diseases. The microbiome of patients with urethral stricture disease (USD) remains unknown. Our objective is to examine the microbiome of USD with a focus on inflammatory USD caused by lichen sclerosus (LS). Methods: We collected mid-stream urine samples from men with LS-USD (cases; n = 22) and non-LS USD (controls; n = 76). DNA extraction, PCR amplification of the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene, and sequencing was done on the samples. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were defined using a > 97% sequence similarity threshold. Alpha diversity measurements of diversity, including microbiome richness (number of different OTUs) and evenness (distribution of OTUs) were calculated and compared. Microbiome beta diversity (difference between microbial communities) relationships with cases and controls were also assessed. Results: Fifty specimens (13 cases and 37 controls) produced a 16S rRNA amplicon. Mean sample richness was 25.9 vs. 16.8 (p = 0.076) for LS-USD vs. non-LS USD, respectively. LS-USD had a unique profile of bacteria by taxonomic order including Bacillales, Bacteroidales and Pasteurellales enriched urine. The beta variation of observed bacterial communities was best explained by the richness. Conclusions: Men with LS-USD may have a unique microbiologic richness, specifically inclusive of Bacillales, Bacteroidales and Pasteurellales enriched urine compared to those with non-LS USD. Further work will be required to elucidate the clinical relevance of these variations in the urinary microbiome.
- Lichen sclerosus
- Urethral stricture disease
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
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