Different Approaches to Detect “Nanobacteria” in Patients with Kidney Stones: an Infectious Cause or a Subset of Life?

Hani Ansari, Abbas Akhavan Sepahi, Mohsen Akhavan Sepahi



Purpose: This research focused on the detection of nanobacteria in kidney stones of 30 Iranian patients without adding fetal bovine serum (FBS) to the culture media.
Materials and Methods: Nanobacteria were isolated from a nephro-ureterolithiasis extract of the urinary tract and kidney of patients and were cultured in the laboratory. The growth of nanobacteria was monitored using a spectrophotometer, and with inverted microscopy technique, their crystallization was analyzed after two days. The images from atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated the morphology and demonstrated the size of the cultured nanobacteria which is between 60 and 160 nm. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to study the chemical composition, surface functional groups and crystal structure of the igloo-like nanobacteria shell. FTIR spectra in the
region of 1000 to 1200 cm-1 and the XRD peaks provided evidence that the main components of the nanobacteria shell were apatite-based compounds.
Results: Nanobacteria infected all the 27 patients with apatite kidney stone, and none of the three patients who had uric acid kidney stone were infected as confirmed by the cultivation of the stones samples. The results showed that nanobacteria might play a fundamental role in the formation of apatite-based kidney stones.
Conclusion: The biomineralization ability of nanobacteria may lead to calcification of the soft tissues, which in turn may result in other diseases. It is also suggested that nanobacteria may be a factor in calcification-related diseases and disorders with poorly characterized etiologies. This research with its different approaches, clarified significant doubts that nanobacteria act as contaminant, warranting continued investigation of its role in other diseases.

Full Text:




Broomfield RJ, Morgan SD, Khan A, Stickler DJ. Crystalline bacterial biofilm formation on urinary catheters by urease-producing urinary tract pathogens: a simple method of control. J Med Microbiol. 2009;58:1367-75.

Anderson-Otunu O, Akhtar S. Chronic Infections of the Urinary Tract and Bladder Cancer Risk: a Systematic Review. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17:3805-7.

Lax AJ, Thomas W. How bacteria could cause cancer: one step at a time. Trends Microbiol. 2002;10:293-9.

Aviles-Jimenez F, Guitron A, Segura-Lopez F, et al. Microbiota studies in the bile duct strongly suggest a role for Helicobacter pylori in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016;22:178. e11-. e22.

Dar MY, Ali S, Raina AH, et al. Association of Helicobacter pylori with hepatobiliary stone disease, a prospective case control study. Indian J Gastroenterol. 2016;35:343-6.

Schultz LN, Connolly J, Lauchnor E, Hobbs TA, Gerlach R. Struvite stone formation by ureolytic biofilm infections. The Role of Bacteria in Urology: Springer; 2016:41-9.

Akhavan-Sepahi M, Sharifian M, Mohkam M, Vafadar M, Hejazi S. Biochemical risk factors for stone formation in healthy school children. Acta Med Iran. 2012;50:814.

Sepahi MA, Heidari A, Shajari A. Clinical manifestations and etiology of renal stones in children less than 14 years age. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2010;21:181.

SHARIFIAN M, HATAMIAN B, DALIRANI R, AGHASI P, AKHAVAN SM. Evaluation of response to treatment with polycitra-K in urolithiasis of children. JQUMS. 2011.

Benzerara K, Menguy N, Guyot F, Dominici C, Gillet P. Nanobacteria-like calcite single crystals at the surface of the Tataouine meteorite. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100:7438-42.

Akerman K, Kuronen I, Kajander E. Scanning electron microscopy of nanobacteria-novel biofilm producing organisms in blood. Scanning. 1993;15:90-1.

Ciftcioglu N, Bjorklund M, Kuorikoski K, Bergstrom K, Kajander EO. Nanobacteria: an infectious cause for kidney stone formation. Kidney Int. 1999;56:1893-8.

Kajander EO, Ciftcioglu N, Miller-Hjelle MA, Hjelle JT. Nanobacteria: controversial pathogens in nephrolithiasis and polycystic kidney disease. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2001;10:445-52.

Raoult D, Drancourt M, Azza S, et al. Nanobacteria are mineralo fetuin complexes. PLoS Pathog. 2008;4:e41.

Bjorklund M, Ciftcioglu N, Kajander EO. Extraordinary survival of nanobacteria under extreme conditions. Paper presented at: SPIE's International Symposium on Optical Science, Engineering, and Instrumentation, 1998.

Kajander E. Nanobacteria–propagating calcifying nanoparticles. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2006;42:549-52.

Luef B, Frischkorn KR, Wrighton KC, et al. Diverse uncultivated ultra-small bacterial cells in groundwater. Nat Commun. 2015;6.

Akerman KK, Kuikka JT, Ciftcioglu N, et al. Radiolabeling and in-vivo distribution of nanobacteria in rabbits. Paper presented at: Optical Science, Engineering and Instrumentation'97, 1997.

Hong X, Wang X, Wang T, Yu C, Li H. Role of nanobacteria in the pathogenesis of kidney stone formation. Am J Transl Res. 2016;8:3227-34.

Martel J, Wu C-Y, Young JD. Translocation of mineralo-organic nanoparticles from blood to urine: a new mechanism for the formation of kidney stones? Nanomedicine. 2016;11:2399-404.

Kajander EO, Björklund M, Çiftçioglu N. Nanobacteria and man. Enigmatic microorganisms and life in extreme environments: Springer; 1999:195-204.

Pretorius AM, Sommer A, Aho K, Kajander E. HIV and nanobacteria. HIV Med. 2004;5:391-3.

Zhou Z, Hong L, Shen X, et al. Detection of nanobacteria infection in type III prostatitis. Urology. 2008;71:1091-5.

Kim TH, Kim HR, Myung SC. Detection of nanobacteria in patients with chronic prostatitis and vaginitis by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Korean J Urol. 2011;52:194-9.

Kajander E, Liesi P, Ciftcioglu N. Do autonomously replicating sterile-filterable particles have an association with amyloid accumulation. Paper presented at: Viruses and virus-like agents in disease: 2nd Karger symposium, Basel, 1993.

Wen Y, Li YG, Yang ZL, et al. Detection of nanobacteria in serum, bile and gallbladder mucosa of patients with cholecystolithiasis. Chin Med J (Engl). 2005;118:421-4.

Hu YR, Zhao Y, Sun YW, et al. Detection of nanobacteria-like material from calcified cardiac valves with rheumatic heart disease. Cardiovasc Pathol. 2010;19:286-92.

Jelic TM, Chang HH, Roque R, Malas AM, Warren SG, Sommer AP. Nanobacteria-associated calcific aortic valve stenosis. J Heart Valve Dis. 2007;16:101-5.

Zeng JF, Zhang W, Jiang HW, Ling JQ. [Isolation, cultivation and initial identification of Nanobacteria from dental pulp stone]. Zhonghua Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2006;41:498-501.

Hjelle JT, Miller-Hjelle MA, Poxton IR, et al. Endotoxin and nanobacteria in polycystic kidney disease. Kidney Int. 2000;57:2360-74.

Abo-EL-Sooud K, Hashem M, Ramadan A, EL-Aty AA, Awadallaha KY, Gab-Allaha A. Research Strategies for Treatment of Nanobacteria. Insight Nanotechnology. 2011;1.

Verze P, Venturino L. Treatment of Nonbacterial Prostatitis: What’s New? Prostatitis and Its Management: Springer; 2016:49-59.

Alves MJ, Barreira JC, Carvalho I, et al. Propensity for biofilm formation by clinical isolates from urinary tract infections: developing a multifactorial predictive model to improve antibiotherapy. J Med Microbiol. 2014;63:471-7.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22037/uj.v14i5.4051

Creative Commons License 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License