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Dr. J. Curtis Nickel Urinary Microbiome Study Using MicroGenDX NGS Indicates Microbial Diversity Varies by Age and Gender

A study to help understand the implications of Next-Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) in the diagnosis and treatment of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and other inflammatory urological conditions has been completed, and results were presented at the September, 2021 AUA Conference. The study, a collaboration between Dr. J. Curtis Nickel and MicroGen Diagnostics, identified some 643 microbial species among 211 healthy subjects (106 female and 105 male) using NGS, with significant differences in microbial diversity based on gender, age, and previous antibiotic use. The greatest abundance of species detected by NGS included microbes in the Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes phyla — and the relative abundance of all taxa detected will be presented at AUA 2021. Understanding the impact of these species and differences in the healthy urinary microbiome on possible infection will help inform treatment of UTIs.

Dr. E. David Crawford, Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, and Professor of Surgery, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado in Aurora, Colorado, who collaborated on the study and assisted in its development, offers these insights into the study’s findings: “Our microbiome plays a pivotal role in our health and survival, yet we really don’t know what ‘normal’ is for the urinary tract of men and women. In order to know what is abnormal, we need to know what is normal. This study represents the foundation of that understanding.”

Dr. J. Curtis Nickel, Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, worked closely with MicroGenDX, the industry leader in providing NGS for clinical diagnostics, to design and implement the study. MicroGenDX also managed the Institutional Review Board process and contributed some $120,000 in lab services for collection, shipment and analysis of samples.

Inflammatory and pain conditions of the urinary tract are very common, with UTIs being the most common outpatient infections in women today. UTIs have a life-time prevalence of 50?60% of adult women, with as many as one-in-five suffering from recurrent UTIs. Chronic inflammatory and pain conditions in the urinary tract in both men and women are difficult to diagnosis and treat with traditional standard culture techniques.

About Dr. J. Curtis Nickel

J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC, is Professor of Urology and Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He has over 600 publications, is on the editorial board of eight Urology journals, past-editor of the AUA Update Series, a past-president of the Canadian Urological Association, invited to present in over 45 countries, continuously funded for over 25 years by US NIH and Canadian CIHR. He was awarded a CIHR Tier I Canada Research Chair (until 2021), AUA Distinguished Contribution Award, AUA Lattimer Medal and SIU Mostafa Elhilali Award for his contribution to international urologic research.

About MicroGenDX

Founded in 2008, MicroGenDX has become the industry leader in rapid turnaround and affordability for comprehensive Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and qPCR testing for clinical diagnostics. MicroGenDX is CLIA-licensed and CAP-accredited, and has been the trusted research partner for the CDC, U.S. Army, NASA and the FDA. MicroGenDX has published over 35 clinical trials and is the most experienced molecular diagnostic laboratory with some 1.5 million samples processed. Over 80,000 medical professionals rely on MicroGenDX clinical diagnostics.

MicroGenDX also offers over 30 specialized clinical diagnostic tests for a comprehensive array of medical specialties and infection types. For more information, visit

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