New study offers insights into recurrent UTIs

Did you know that between 50-70% of all women report a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives? Unfortunately, 20-30% of women will go on to develop recurrent UTIs. This places a huge burden not only on healthcare (estimated at $2.3 billion per year), but also contributes to the pain and suffering of women suffering from these recurring infections.

In the Quave Research Group, we are not only dedicated to investigating the full pharmacological potential of medicinal plants, but we are also working towards developing a more robust understanding of the basic science behind difficult-to-treat infections. In this study led by OB/GYN fellow, Dr. Kerac Falk, undertook a cross-sectional analysis and collected urine cultures from patients seen by female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery physicians. Urine that was positive for the presence of bacteria was investigated and bacterial isolates grown in the lab. These bacteria were then examined for their capacity to form biofilms, a type of thick matrix that bacteria produce and embed themselves in to avoid antibiotics. Biofilms are an important aspect of resistance to antibiotic therapy, and yet little is understood about the role of biofilms in UTIs. The main finding of the study was that the bacteria isolated from the urine of these patients did indeed produce biofilms, highlighting the need for further research to examine how biofilms might contribute to recurrent UTIs in postmenopausal women. You can read the full article below:

Falk, K., S. Satola, F. Chassagne, G. Northington, C.L. Quave. (2021). Biofilm production by uropathogens in postmenopausal women with recurrent and isolated urinary tract infection. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000001124

Gratitude for supporting our research!

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I'm feeling so very thankful this week! I spent Saturday morning hand writing thank you cards to folks who have generously supported my research at Emory with gifts of funding. If you'd like to support our next study on medicinal plants to tackle antibiotic resistance, visit: http://donate.etnobotanica.us/

Even small gifts can make a big difference! Some support our work with single larger donations, and others with monthly recurring donations of $10. Whatever you are able to share, each penny is greatly appreciated and put to careful use directly for research to investigate the full medicinal potential of plants.

What I'm reading: New study shows millions are dying from antibiotic resistant infections

The rise of antibiotic resistance has been called the "silent pandemic" as it quietly kills millions across the globe. In 2016, a UK report estimated that 700,000 die each year around the globe due to untreatable infections, with projections to reach 10 million deaths annually by midcentury. A new study just published this week in The Lancet found that 1.2 million people died in 2019 due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) infections. Most of the deaths due to AMR were caused by lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, and bloodstream infections, which can lead to sepsis. Staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) alone was responsible for 100,000 deaths. These new figures highlight the urgent need for new innovations in how we treat such infections. In the Quave Research Group, we are looking to plants as a source of new compounds to turn the tide in the fight against AMR.

New Feature in Psychology Today!

I was honored to be interviewed with the magazine, Psychology Today for their Jan/Feb 2022 issue! Take a peek at the feature here: Reaping a Botanical Bounty.

The Life and Career Changing Effects of a GCA Scholarship

I'm forever grateful for the early career support afforded to me by the GCA when I was a student. It made a huge difference in pushing my research forward when I needed the help most! I spoke with the GCA about its impact on my career and of many others! Read the full interview here.

New Feature in Emory Magazine!

I was blown away by this beautiful profile piece in the winter issue of Emory Magazine! Thanks so much to Carol Clark for the lovely interview and piece! You can take a peek here: The Heart of Brightness.

New on Foodie Pharmacology:

Wild Food & Migration with Prof. Andrea Pieroni

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This week on the show, we’re going to get a little wild, exploring the wild food traditions across geographic borders in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Balkans and Middle East! I’m joined by Professor Andrea Pieroni, a leading ethnobiologist who studies the food traditions of diaspora and minority populations. We discuss the ties between traditional knowledge and community resilience, and celebrate some of the incredible foods found in some of the most remote regions of the world.

Have you been reading THE PLANT HUNTER? If you love the book, please help me get the word out! Consumer reviews are greatly needed on Amazon, Audible, Barnes and Noble, Good Reads and more. Thank you!

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