In a recent study, a group of scientists found that some people are better protected from urinary tract infections than others. The researchers found that this was because these people have high amounts of a substance that prevents bacteria cells from binding to the bladder.
Bladder infections typically present with frequent urination, pain on urinating, and a strong, irresistible urge to urinate. These symptoms occur because the bladder is irritated and unable to hold urine for long. Bacteria cells bind to the cells of the bladder and other urinary organs to initiate the infection and irritation. One substance, uromodulin, can protect against this. The study found that around 70 percent of people have large amounts of this substance, preventing binding of bacteria to the walls of the bladder, thereby preventing a bladder infection.
It is unknown whether uromodulin can be administered to people to prevent the occurrence of bladder infections.