Research Topic

The Urogenital Microbiota in Urinary Tract Diseases

About this Research Topic

The urinary system provides an essential waste removal function for the human body but can suffer from a wide range of diseases. Unfortunately, the etiologies of many urinary tract diseases are poorly understood. With the recent boom in sequencing-based microbiome research, there is a growing interest in the idea that the host urogenital microbiota (including the urinary, periurethral, vaginal and penile microbiota), could be involved in conditions not previously regarded as having a microbial origin (e.g. incontinence and interstitial cystitis). Further, the composition of the urogenital microbiota has the potential to modulate susceptibility to, or severity of, urologic diseases caused by recognized uropathogens (e.g. UTI, urethritis). Several studies have reported differences in urogenital microbiome composition in patients with urological disease compared to healthy controls. However, microbiome-host interactions in the urinary tract have not been widely studied at a level that allows causal conclusions to be made between microbiome members and their effects on each other or the host.

In order to move the field towards the development of new therapies targeting the urogenital microbiota, we need to understand the role of specific microbes and their products in urologic disease pathogenesis. With this ultimate goal in mind, we welcome original research articles, perspectives and reviews that consider the impact of the urinary, periurethral, vaginal or penile microbiota on urinary tract diseases such as incontinence, bladder cancer, urethritis, interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome or UTI. We welcome submissions that consider any of the sub-topics listed below. We are particularly interested in submissions that advance our understanding of less well-studied urogenital microbes.

• Characterization of metabolic function or immune parameters in relation to urogenital microbiome composition.
• Microbial or other therapeutic manipulation of the urogenital microbiota and the impact on urinary tract disease outcomes in patients.
• Animal model systems relevant to human disease, investigating mechanisms of urinary tract pathogenesis or protection, or immune modulation by members of the urogenital microbiota or their byproducts.
• In vitro model systems relevant to the urinary tract, such as interactions of urogenital microbes or their products with urothelial or immune cells using cell culture, organoids or 3D organ systems, tissue explants.
• Co-culture systems examining mechanisms of polymicrobial synergy or competition between members of the urogenital microbiota and recognized uropathogens.


Prof. Stapleton consults for GSK. The other Topic Editors declare no conflict of interest with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Bladder, Kidney, Dysbiosis, Urothelium, Immune Modulation, Polymicrobial, Urogenital, Microbiota


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The urinary system provides an essential waste removal function for the human body but can suffer from a wide range of diseases. Unfortunately, the etiologies of many urinary tract diseases are poorly understood. With the recent boom in sequencing-based microbiome research, there is a growing interest in the idea that the host urogenital microbiota (including the urinary, periurethral, vaginal and penile microbiota), could be involved in conditions not previously regarded as having a microbial origin (e.g. incontinence and interstitial cystitis). Further, the composition of the urogenital microbiota has the potential to modulate susceptibility to, or severity of, urologic diseases caused by recognized uropathogens (e.g. UTI, urethritis). Several studies have reported differences in urogenital microbiome composition in patients with urological disease compared to healthy controls. However, microbiome-host interactions in the urinary tract have not been widely studied at a level that allows causal conclusions to be made between microbiome members and their effects on each other or the host.

In order to move the field towards the development of new therapies targeting the urogenital microbiota, we need to understand the role of specific microbes and their products in urologic disease pathogenesis. With this ultimate goal in mind, we welcome original research articles, perspectives and reviews that consider the impact of the urinary, periurethral, vaginal or penile microbiota on urinary tract diseases such as incontinence, bladder cancer, urethritis, interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome or UTI. We welcome submissions that consider any of the sub-topics listed below. We are particularly interested in submissions that advance our understanding of less well-studied urogenital microbes.

• Characterization of metabolic function or immune parameters in relation to urogenital microbiome composition.
• Microbial or other therapeutic manipulation of the urogenital microbiota and the impact on urinary tract disease outcomes in patients.
• Animal model systems relevant to human disease, investigating mechanisms of urinary tract pathogenesis or protection, or immune modulation by members of the urogenital microbiota or their byproducts.
• In vitro model systems relevant to the urinary tract, such as interactions of urogenital microbes or their products with urothelial or immune cells using cell culture, organoids or 3D organ systems, tissue explants.
• Co-culture systems examining mechanisms of polymicrobial synergy or competition between members of the urogenital microbiota and recognized uropathogens.


Prof. Stapleton consults for GSK. The other Topic Editors declare no conflict of interest with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Bladder, Kidney, Dysbiosis, Urothelium, Immune Modulation, Polymicrobial, Urogenital, Microbiota


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

16 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

16 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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