What is the physiology of natural host defenses that prevent chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP)?

Updated: Jan 15, 2019
  • Author: Samantha D Kraemer, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Natural host defenses that prevent prostatitis include the flushing of the prostatic urethra by emptying the bladder, ejaculation, and the presence of a zinc-rich antibacterial polypeptide that has antibacterial effects against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The prostate has the highest level of zinc concentration of any organ. Healthy men have very high zinc levels, whereas men with chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) have low prostatic zinc levels and normal serum zinc levels. Interestingly, oral zinc supplementation does not increase the prostatic zinc levels in men with CBP.

Spermine and spermidine are also natural host defenses in prostatic fluid. These impart the characteristic odor to ejaculate, and their antibacterial activity is directed mainly at gram-positive bacteria.

For more information, see Prostate Anatomy

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