J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC, presented “The Urinary Microbiome and Prostate Disease” during the 32nd Annual International Prostate Cancer Update (IPCU32) conference on March 8, 2022, in Snowbird, Utah.

How to cite: Nickel, J. Curtis. The Urinary Microbiome and Prostate Disease.” March 8, 2022. Accessed Jul 2024. https://grandroundsinurology.com/the-urinary-microbiome-and-prostate-disease/

The Urinary Microbiome and Prostate Disease – Summary

J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC, the Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation and Professor of Urology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, discusses the change in understanding of the male urinary tract’s microbiome. He states that using next generation sequencing, research has revealed that there is not a normal “core” male urinary microbiome, because age, genetics, environment, antibiotics, and diet all have an impact. He reviews concluding that there are many potential bacteria which can influence infection in the prostate. Dr. Nickel discusses a comparative analysis of the urinary microbiome that identified 531 genera in the microbiome. Next, he describes his 2022 study comparing antimicrobial resistance and microbial patterns in the chronic prostatitis (CP) urobiome compared to asymptomatic healthy individuals. He reviews research on BPH, stating that chronic prostate inflammation is one of the key factors that drives the disease. In addition, Dr. Nickel reviews the differences in bacteria between BPH and prostate cancer patients. He describes the progression from inflation of the prostate to prostate cancer and how the microbiome can impact prostate cancer pathogenesis. He summarizes studies on microbiota and prostate cancer identifying bacteria in prostate fluid, tissue, gut PCR, and viral, concluding that there does appear to be an abnormal prostate microbiome associated with prostate cancer.

About the 32nd Annual International Prostate Cancer Update (IPCU32):
Presented by Program Chair E. David Crawford, MD,  The International Prostate Cancer Update (IPCU), is a multi-day, CME-accredited conference focused on new developments in prostate cancer treatment, diagnosis, and prevention. IPCU 32 featured lectures, interactive discussions, panel roundtables, debates, and case reports. This conference was led by expert physicians and is designed for urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other healthcare professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.


Dr. Nickel is the Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation and a Professor of Urology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is also a staff urologist at Kingston General Hospital. Dr. Nickel’s research covers inflammatory, benign prostate, and pain diseases of the urinary tract. He has over 550 publications, is on the editorial board of eight urology journals, serves as editor of the AUA Update Series, has presented in 45 countries, and is funded by the US NIH and Canadian CIHR. He has been awarded a CIHR Tier I Canada Research Chair (until 2021), as well as an AUA Distinguished Contribution Award and SIU Academy Award. He is currently Immediate Past-President of the Canadian Urological Association.