Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant awardee – Urine Microbiome Profiling in Kidney Transplant Recipients in Health and Disease (David Harriman)
Through collaboration with partner organizations, CDTRP is pleased to offer our annual Research Innovation Grant competition to fund exciting new project ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling all of the projects funded in the 2021 competition.
Funded through a Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant
Title: Urine Microbiome Profiling in Kidney Transplant Recipients in Health and Disease
- Principal investigator: David Harriman
- Main affiliation: University of British Columbia
- Part of Theme 4
Kidney transplant represents the best treatment for those with end stage renal disease, however transplant recipients have weakened immune systems secondary to anti-rejection medications that are necessary to prevent organ rejection with subsequent failure. Recently, specific bacterial communities have been found to reside in the urinary tract which may influence the immune system, the so-called urinary microbiome. The urinary microbiome has not been extensively investigated in kidney transplant patients, which presents a knowledge gap that we hope to address. Our goal is to understand the role urinary bacteria play in renal transplant patients and their associated influence on the transplanted kidney and the immune system. We hypothesize that urinary bacteria will directly influence the transplant kidney and may participate in maintaining or exacerbating the health of that kidney. To validate this hypothesis, we will test adult and pediatric renal transplant recipient urine, with associated clinical information, to determine bacterial compositions that live in the urine in both healthy post-transplant states and during kidney transplant rejection using state of the art laboratory techniques (16S rRNA sequencing). Furthermore, we will specifically assess the urine bacterial environments of male and female patients, as there have been reported differences in the urinary microbiome based on gender related to hormonal and anatomic considerations in non-transplant patients. If successful, this study will pave the way for future projects aimed at developing tools to identify and halt kidney transplant injury so that transplant recipients can maintain their health for as long as possible.