Graduate Research School Available Projects Chronic Pelvic Pain Faecal Microbiome Study

Chronic Pelvic Pain Faecal Microbiome Study

Title of Project

Chronic Pelvic Pain Faecal Microbiome Study


A/Prof Donna Rudd

College or Research Centre

College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science

Summary of Project

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as non-cyclical pain in the area of the pelvis for most days for more than 3-6 months, unrelated to pregnancy. Although no prevalence data exists for CPP in Australia, its prevalence worldwide is estimated to be between 15 % to 25.4%.1 Furthermore, it is estimated that CPP costs Australia more than $6 Billion annually in direct costs.2 The knowledge of the human gut microbiome has rapidly expanded in the recent years and its important role in human health has been elucidated, including the supply of essential nutrients, synthesis of vitamins, promotion of angiogenesis and epithelial repair.3 Several studies have indicated a strong link between dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and disease aetiology which has opened potential medical treatments and reduced surgical interventions which bear the risk of substantial side-effects and high recurrence rates.4-6 Limited research has been done on CPP, and its aetiology remains complex. The pain may be related to a specific diagnosis such as endometriosis, infection, tumour, inflammatory bowel syndrome or interstitial cystitis. However, in other cases no specific pathology can be demonstrated. 7 Interestingly, animal studies of rhesus monkeys have demonstrated an association of endometriosis and an altered profile of gut microbiota.8 Additionally, the urinary microbiome of patients with interstitial cystitis has been mapped which showed a less diverse microbiome compared to the controls.9 Hence, there is growing experimental interest in the link between the gut microbiome and CPP. To the best of our knowledge to date, no human studies are available which investigate the gut microbiome of patients living with CPP. As a result, this project, Chronic Pelvic Pain Faecal Microbiome Study, addresses this gap by analysing the microbiome of patients with CPP and explores any possible associations.

Key Words

Gynaecology; Chronic pelvic pain ; non-cyclical pain; gut microbiome

Would suit an applicant who

Higher Degree Research only i.e. PhD or MPhil (intercalated MD-PhD & MD-MPhil), Both HDR and Extra-curricular, Honours students

DNA Extraction required; Previous experience with 16S DNA analysis an advantage

Updated: 25 Nov 2021