Exploring the Urinary Microbiome in Patients with Genitourinary Lichen Sclerosis

Genitourinary lichen sclerosis (GU-LS) is a highly debilitating disease, which often leads to pan-urethral strictures that are commonly refractory to medical and surgical treatments. The etiology of GU-LS is unknown. However, recent evidence has shown that GU-LS is associated with systemic inflammatory diseases and might represent autoimmune pathophysiology. Shifts in the microbiome have been associated with autoimmune disease, as molecular mimicry between certain pathogens might generate destructive autoantibodies. The urinary microbiome in patients with GU-LS has never been explored. We investigated to uncover the urinary microbiome among patients with GU-LS and age-matched, symptom-matched controls.