Background: Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder with unknown etiology. The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial community present in the urine from IC female patients by 454 high throughput sequencing of the 16S variable regions V1V2 and V6. The taxonomical composition, richness and diversity of the IC microbiota were determined and compared to the microbial profile of asymptomatic healthy female (HF) urine.
Results: The composition and distribution of bacterial sequences differed between the urine microbiota of IC patients and HFs. Reduced sequence richness and diversity were found in IC patient urine, and a significant difference in the community structure of IC urine in relation to HF urine was observed. More than 90% of the IC sequence reads were identified as belonging to the bacterial genus Lactobacillus, a marked increase compared to 60% in HF urine.
Conclusion: The 16S rDNA sequence data demonstrates a shift in the composition of the bacterial community in IC urine. The reduced microbial diversity and richness is accompanied by a higher abundance of the bacterial genus Lactobacillus, compared to HF urine. This study demonstrates that high throughput sequencing analysis of urine microbiota in IC patients is a powerful tool towards a better understanding of this enigmatic disease.