On UTI Front, Chicken Dinner is No Winner

This is a little bizarre......


For years, researchers have been trying to confirm an apparent link between the Escherichia coli in poultry and urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans. Now, there's another hint of a connection between contamination back on the farm and nasty germs in our bladders.

Researchers who examined meat from retail stores in California and urine from patients with UTIs found that nearly 25% of chicken and turkey samples shared the same genotypes that were found in the urine samples, according to Reina Yamaji, MD, PhD, of the University of California at Berkeley.

Analysis showed 72 E coli genotypes that were unique to retail meat, 49 genotypes unique to human UTIs, and 12 shared genotypes, Yamaji reported at the annual IDWeek meeting, sponsored jointly by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA).

Of the six most common E coli genotypes in humans, three of them were found in both retail meat and humans, she said.

The findings don't solve the mystery of whether the meats we eat -- especially poultry -- are directly related to human UTIs, an outside expert told MedPage Today.

"Evidence is growing, but a direct link has not been made yet," according to Amee Manges, PhD, of the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver. Still, she said, "these results add to the existing body of research."