Culture-independent Next Generation Sequencing of Urine and Expressed Prostatic Secretions in Men With Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Urology. 2021 Jan;147:230-234. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.10.013. Epub 2020 Oct 21.


Objective: To compare standard cultures and next-generation sequencing (NGS) in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). CPPS shares clinical features with urinary tract infections, but bacteria are seldom found. NGS is more sensitive than standard cultures.

Materials and methods: Men diagnosed with CPPS (National Institute of Health Category III) underwent traditional cultures and NGS of their urine and expressed prostatic secretions (EPS). Characteristics between groups were compared statistically.

Results: Thirty-one men with CPPS were included (mean age 44.5). All standard urine cultures were negative, and 3 EPS cultures were positive. Seventy-eight unique microbes were detected with NGS, including uropathogens in 10 of the men. There were no bacteria identified by NGS in EPS that were not also found in the urine. Men with positive NGS did not differ from those without in age, symptom severity or phenotype. Men with typical urinary tract infection symptoms (eg, dysuria, chills) were more likely to have uropathogens detected on NGS relative to men without such symptoms. Nine patients were prescribed antibiotics based on their NGS findings, but only 1 exhibited symptom improvement (11%).

Conclusion: NGS commonly identified bacteria in CPPS patients, but these did not localize to the prostate. NGS positivity did not correlate with symptom severity and antibiotic therapy was seldom effective. NGS detected uropathogens more frequently in those with clinical symptoms suggestive of urinary tract infection. Clinical trials are needed to examine the utility of NGS-guided antibiotics in this subpopulation.