Some infectious bacteria adapted very well to the human bladder, so much as they appear like they are creating custom DNA using chemicals from urine.
Most bacteria can’t survive the urinary tract, which is one of the reasons why some people consider urine to be sterile, though that is not particularly true.
Just like a person’s gut, urine hosts a plethora of microbes that form the microbiota. Though most bacteria found inside of the human body are harmless, there are times when particular species can overpopulate specific regions, possibly producing painful urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Streptococcus agalactiae is a relatively common source of UTIs in some people, and new data shows that it can survive in unfriendly environments.
In an average, healthy body, urine should present a relatively low count of nucleobases producing DNA’s code, which get broken down into nitrogenous compounds and excreted out.
Scientists sequenced the S. agalactiae genome and discovered a key, specialized gen, which helps the bacterium to exploit the existence of other compounds in human urine to produce at least one of the bases (guanine) that help it survive.
Comparable genes have also been recently discovered in Escherichia coli (E.coli), one of the most common UTI source.
Both E. coli and Streptococcus have to synthesize their own chemical bases to grow and reproduce.
Molecular geneticist Matthew Sullivan from the Griffith University of Australia said that it is a lot like a survival strategy to colonize the urine, a very hostile environment.
“It seems to be a common strategy among species of bacteria that make up the microbiome of the urine,” he added.