Transanal irrigation's influence on gut microbiota could positively affect the immune system and contribute to reduced UTIs.
In this small clinical study by Futura and co-workers, changes in gut microbiota after the use of transanal irrigation (TAI) in children with Spina Bifida (SB) were investigated. Since those patients have an increased incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and the gut microbiota can have different functions such as stimulate the host immune system, asymptomatic bacteriuria was also investigated before and after TAI. SB patients using intermittent self catheterisation (ISC) and with confirmed neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD) were included in the study and started to use TAI every two days for 3 months.
The results showed that TAI significantly improved bowel function, but no significant changes in the frequency of faecal incontinence were seen. There was a tendency of decrease in asymptomatic UTIs and there were changes in the gut microbiota, mainly:
- Bacteroides was significantly increased
- Roseburia was significantly increased
Roseburia plays a regulatory role in the intestinal motility and host immune system, which may contribute to the tendency for UTIs to be reduced. In conclusion, TAI significantly improved constipation and changed the gut microbiota, which positively affected bowel function.