UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


The Urinary Microbiome of Older Adults Residing in a Nursing Home Varies with Duration of Residence and Shows Increases in Potential Pathogens

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine; Program in Microbiome Dynamics; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems; Center for Microbiome Research; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Geriatrics | Gerontology | Medical Microbiology


The community of bacteria that colonize the urinary tract, the urinary microbiome, is hypothesized to influence a wide variety of urinary tract conditions. Older adults that reside in nursing homes are frequently diagnosed and treated for urinary tract conditions such as urinary tract infection (UTI). We investigated the urinary microbiome of older adults residing in a nursing home to determine if there are features of the urinary microbiome that are associated specific conditions and exposure in this population. We were also interested in the stability of urinary microbiome over time and in similarities between the urinary and gastrointestinal microbiome. Urine samples were prospectively collected over a period of 10 months from a cohort of 26 older adults (age > 65 years) residing in single nursing home located in Central Massachusetts. Serial samples were obtained from 6 individuals over 10 months and 5 participants were concurrently enrolled in a study of the gastrointestinal microbiome. Information collected on participants included demographics, medical history, duration of residence in the nursing home, frailty, dementia symptoms, urinary symptoms, antibiotic treatment, urinary catherization, and hospitalizations over a 10-month period. Clean catch mid-stream urine samples were collected and stored at -80C. DNA was extracted and 16S rRNA gene sequencing performed. The length of stay in the nursing facility and the Clinical Frailty Scale correlated with significant changes in microbiome composition. An increase in the relative abundance of a putative urinary pathogen, Aerococcus urinae, was the largest factor influencing change that occurred over duration of residence.


Infection, Older Adult Nursing Home Residents, Urinary Microbiome, Urinary Tract Infections

DOI of Published Version



Bradley ES, Schell B, Ward DV, Bucci V, Zeamer A, Haran JP. The Urinary Microbiome of Older Adults Residing in a Nursing Home Varies with Duration of Residence and Shows Increases in Potential Pathogens. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Nov 13:glab345. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glab345. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34791238. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

PubMed ID