Purpose: Escherichia coli 83972 was previously shown to establish bladder colonization in select patient groups. We evaluate the safety and feasibility of using bacterial interference with E. coli 83972 to prevent urinary tract infection in spinal cord injured patients.
Materials and methods: A total of 21 men and women with neurogenic bladder secondary to spinal cord injury underwent intravesical inoculation with E. coli 83972. Frequency of symptomatic urinary tract infection before and after colonization was compared.
Results: Successful long-term bladder colonization was achieved in 13 study participants. Mean duration of colonization was 12.3 months (range 2 to 40). Subjects had no symptoms of urinary tract infection while colonized with E. coli 83972 (0 infection per 18.4 patient-years). Successfully colonized subjects had experienced a mean of 3.1 symptomatic urinary tract infections per year (range 2 to 7) before colonization. Symptomatic infection also occurred in 4 subjects who were not successfully colonized with E. coli 83972 and in 7 others after spontaneous loss of colonization. Colonized subjects reported subjective improvement in quality of life with respect to urinary tract infection while colonized.
Conclusions: E. coli 83972 may be safely used to establish long-term asymptomatic bladder colonization in spinal cord injured subjects. Preliminary findings suggest that colonization with E. coli 83972 may reduce the frequency of urinary tract infection in patients with neurogenic bladder secondary to spinal cord injury.