Urinary Auto-Brewery Syndrome

Scientists have discovered a new medical condition in which the patient was producing ethanol in urine due to fermentation activity by yeast in the urinary bladder.

1) What is urinary auto-brewery syndrome?

The urinary auto-brewery syndrome or the bladder fermentation syndrome was discovered in a 61 year old female patient in USA. It is a condition in which the patient excretes alcohol (ethanol) in the urine. The patient had liver failure and a poorly controlled diabetic condition also.

  2) What is Candida glabrata, the syndrome’s causative agent?

Candida glabrata is a species of yeast, related to the brewer’s yeast. It is generally not found abundantly in the human system. However, in this condition, they were found colonising the urinary bladder and fermenting sugars into alcohol.

3) What is the cause behind this syndrome?

The high ethanol levels indicate that the yeast had been fermenting the sugars in the bladder. The high sugar level was a result of the uncontrolled diabetes. Anti-fungal treatments had failed because of the high sugar levels favouring yeast growth. This syndrome is related to the currently known auto-brewery syndrome.


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