The microbial communities in male first catch urine are highly similar to those in paired urethral swab specimens

Qunfeng Dong, David E. Nelson, Evelyn Toh, Lixia Diao, Xiang Gao, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Barbara van Der Pol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations


Urine is the CDC-recommended specimen for STI testing. It was unknown if the bacterial communities (microbiomes) in urine reflected those in the distal male urethra. We compared microbiomes of 32 paired urine and urethral swab specimens obtained from adult men attending an STD clinic, by 16S rRNA PCR and deep pyrosequencing. Microbiomes of urine and swabs were remarkably similar, regardless of STI status of the subjects. Thus, urine can be used to characterize urethral microbiomes when swabs are undesirable, such as in population-based studies of the urethral microbiome or where multiple sampling of participants is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19709
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 18 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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