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J Clin Microbiol 1999 Jun;37(6):1863-1870
Prevalence of Corynebacterial 16S rRNA Sequences in Patients with Bacterial and "Nonbacterial" Prostatitis.
Tanner MA, Shoskes D, Shahed A, Pace NR
Departments of Plant and Microbial Biology and of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720-3102.
The etiology of chronic prostatitis syndromes in men is controversial, particularly when positive cultures for established uropathogens are lacking. Although identification of bacteria in prostatic fluid has relied on cultivation and microscopy, most microorganisms in the environment, including some human pathogens, are resistant to cultivation.
We report here on an rRNA-based molecular phylogenetic approach to the identification of bacteria in prostate fluid from prostatitis patients. Positive bacterial signals were seen for 65% of patients with chronic prostatitis overall. Seven of 11 patients with bacterial signals but none of 6 patients without bacterial signals were cured with antibiotic-based therapy.
Results indicate the occurrence in the prostate fluid of a wide spectrum of bacterial species representing several genera. Most rRNA genes were closely related to those of species belonging to the genera Corynebacterium, Staphylococcus, Peptostreptococcus, Streptococcus, and Escherichia. Unexpectedly, a wide diversity of Corynebacterium species was found in high proportion compared to the proportions of other bacterial species found. A subset of these 16S rRNA sequences represent those of undescribed species on the basis of their positions in phylogenetic trees. These uncharacterized organisms were not detected in control samples, suggesting that the organisms have a role in the disease or are the consequence of the disease.
These studies show that microorganisms associated with prostatitis generally occur as complex microbial communities that differ between patients. The results also indicate that microbial communities distinct from those associated with prostatitis may occur at low levels in normal prostatic fluid.

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