This site is intended for healthcare professionals only
link between diabetes and UTIs explained in new study
Lower immunity and recurring infections are common in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden showed that the immune system of people with diabetes has lower levels of the antimicrobial peptide psoriasin, which compromises the urinary bladder's cell barrier, increasing the risk of urinary tract infection.
Diabetes results from lack of insulin and/or decreased insulin action. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose (sugar) and thus energy to the cells. In type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin, while in type 2 diabetes, the cells have become less sensitive to insulin, which contributes to high blood glucose levels. Diabetes is a common disease that affects the health in many ways.
One effect is that it compromises the innate immune system, leaving many people with increased susceptibility to regular infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI)s caused by E. coli bacteria. In people with diabetes, these are more likely to lead to general blood poisoning, sepsis, originating in the urinary tract.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now investigated whether glucose levels in people with diabetes are linked with psoriasin, an endogenous antibiotic that is a part of the innate immune system.
Using urine, urinary bladder cells and blood serum samples from patients, the researchers analysed levels of psoriasin and other peptides necessary for ensuring that the bladder mucosa remains intact and protects against infection. The findings were then verified in mice and urinary bladder cells with and without infection.
Annelie Brauner et al, Diabetes downregulates the antimicrobial peptide psoriasin and increases E. coli burden in the urinary bladder,Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32636-y
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed
Isra Zaman is a Life Science graduate from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a flair for writing, and her roles at Medicaldialogues include that of a Sr. content writer and a medical correspondent. Her news pieces cover recent discoveries and updates from the health and medicine sector. She can be reached at email@example.com.