UTIs, biofilms, tea

Cathrina Geldard

Cathrina’s background combining naturopathic and biomedical principles allows for a unique perspective that bridges traditional and conventional medicine. As both a clinically trained naturopath and a Master's degree holder in biomedical science, she is now embarking on novel PhD research that could change the way we address chronic urinary tract infections and antimicrobial resistance.

Cathrina’s diverse experience and unwavering passion for natural health and scientific exploration has equipped her with a holistic understanding, positioning her to uncover innovative solutions that integrate the wisdom of ancient healing practices with the rigour of modern scientific inquiry. Her PhD project focuses on understanding herbal medicines, as they are traditionally and clinically used, on clinically-relevant polymicrobial chronic urinary tract biofilms. The research approach is designed to enhance the clinical translation of the findings, ensuring that the insights gained can be integrated into real-world healthcare settings.


Biofilms, UTIs

The rich diversity of compounds in crude plant extracts holds the promise of a more holistic approach to chronic urinary tract infections. Unlike single-target antibiotics, these natural remedies can potentially address the multifactorial nature of urinary tract infections by reaching and modulating multiple pathways simultaneously. 

Tackling UTIs: Exploring Biofilms and Herbal Teas 

Cathrina’s passion for making a tangible difference in the lives of the population suffering from chronic UTIs fuels her commitment to bridging the gap between research and clinical practice. Chronic UTIs are a significant burden on healthcare systems, increased antibiotic use, and the development of antimicrobial resistance. This research has the potential to reduce persistent infections, offering patients new hope and reducing the reliance on increasingly ineffective antibiotics.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are incredibly common, affecting around 11% of people worldwide each year. They're mainly caused by bacteria, like E. coli, along with other microbes such as Klebsiella, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, and Candida species.

Usually, doctors prescribe antibiotics for UTIs, but they can lead to unpleasant side effects and contribute to antibiotic resistance. This is where herbal remedies come into play.

Dr Andrea Bugarcic and her team have been investigating how herbal teas might help manage UTIs. Their research has shown promising results, indicating that certain herbs brewed into teas could break down the sticky films bacteria form in the urinary tract, making it easier for the body to fight off the infection.

Their work, conducted at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine under Dr Bugarcic's leadership, is groundbreaking. It's the first project of its kind to explore the health benefits of herbal teas in the context of UTI treatment. Not only are they reducing biofilm mass, but they're also identifying new compounds that could revolutionise UTI management.

Donate to the Centre to help us continue to support Cathrina and her important research that offers hope for a natural, effective solution to a widespread health issue. 

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