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Re-Doing: 2022 Crazy Research on Cranberries and UTIs - the whole article

Seems like a great glitch deleted most of this article when it got published on Monday, so here we go again and this time you get the whole story! 

I love complicated, crazy (inventive) research projects and this 2022 Canadian research is amazing! CharÌene Roussel from the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Food led this team.

The whole project's goal was to evaluate the effect of cranberries on Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the gut before it makes its way to the urothelium (lining inside the lower urinary tract). 

Sounds very typical so far, but this team built a special 'colonic fermentation system' (made up of bottles, you will see the model in the article) to prove that cranberry actually kill E.coli - in the gut - where the virulent genes get activated. As we know, E. coli cause urinary tract infections.

Enjoy this wonderfully crazy away to check up on the colon and urinary relationship.


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) ecology-pathophysiology from the gut reservoir to its urothelium infection site is poorly understood, resulting in equivocal benefits in the use of cranberry as prophylaxis against urinary tract infections. To add further understanding from the previous findings on PAC antiadhesive properties against UPEC, we assessed in this study the effects of proanthocyanidins (PAC) rich cranberry extract microbial metabolites on UTI89 virulence and fitness in contrasting ecological UPEC’s environments. For this purpose, we developed an original model combining a colonic fermentation system (SHIME) with a dialysis cassette device enclosing UPEC and a 3D tissue-engineered urothelium. Two healthy fecal donors inoculated the colons. Dialysis cassettes containing 7log10 CFU/mL UTI89 were immersed for 2h in the SHIME colons to assess the effect of untreated (7-day control diet)/treated (14-day PAC-rich extract) metabolomes on UPEC behavior. Engineered urothelium were then infected with dialysates containing UPEC for 6 h. This work demonstrated for the first time that in the control fecal microbiota condition without added PAC, the UPEC virulence genes were activated upstream the infection site, in the gut. However, PAC microbial-derived cranberry metabolites displayed a remarkable propensity to blunt activation of genes encoding toxin, adhesin/invasins in the gut and on the urothelium, in a donor-dependent manner. Variability in subjects’ gut microbiota and ensuing contrasting cranberry PAC metabolism affects UPEC virulence and should be taken into consideration when designing cranberry efficacy clinical trials. Article

Sincerely yours,



  • Roussel, C., Chabaud, S., Lessard-Lord, J., Cattero, V., Pellerin, F. A., Feutry, P., ... & Desjardins, Y. (2022). UPEC colonic-virulence and urovirulence are blunted by proanthocyanidins-rich cranberry extract microbial metabolites in a gut model and a 3D tissue-engineered urothelium. 
    Microbiology Spectrum, e02432-21. Article
    Visit our Cranberry Pomegranate page to learn more, and enjoy.  
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