Dormant bacteria may spawn infection | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Dormant bacteria may spawn infection

12:49pm, May 30, 2001

Bacterial infections that seem to be cured can flare up again months or years later. Dormant bacteria may be to blame, according to a new laboratory study. Hadley Hartwell and Todd R. Steck of the University of North Carolina in Charlotte have been investigating the effect of antibiotics on Escherichia coli, a frequent cause of urinary tract infections.

Up to 50 percent of all women contract urinary tract infections, says Hartwell. E. coli is the most common pathogen associated with these infections. Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate and burning or pain during urination. Even after antibiotic treatment, a third of these infections recur.

Hartwell and Steck tested ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim, two antibiotics typically prescribed for urinary tract infections. Hartwell added each antibiotic to a saline solution containing an E. coli strain known to cause urinary tract infections.

Over several weeks, she tested whether bacteria

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content