Special Issue "Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Catharina Svanborg Website E-Mail
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Section of Microbiology, Immunology and Glycobiology (MIG), Lund University, Sölvegatan 23, 22362, Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46-709-426549
Interests: diseases; immunology; microbiology

Special Issue Information

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Published Papers (26 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Pathogens, Commensals, and Immunity: From the Perspective of the Urinary Bladder
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010005 - 07 Jan 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Why study immunity as it pertains to the urinary bladder? [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Bacterial Suppression of RNA Polymerase II-Dependent Host Gene Expression
Pathogens 2016, 5(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5030049 - 13 Jul 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is a bacterial carrier state in the urinary tract that resembles commensalism at other mucosal sites. ABU strains often lack the virulence factors that characterize uropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains and therefore elicit weak innate immune responses [...] Read more.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is a bacterial carrier state in the urinary tract that resembles commensalism at other mucosal sites. ABU strains often lack the virulence factors that characterize uropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains and therefore elicit weak innate immune responses in the urinary tract. In addition, ABU strains are active modifiers of the host environment, which they influence by suppressing RNA polymerase II (Pol II)-dependent host gene expression. In patients inoculated with the ABU strain E. coli 83972, gene expression was markedly reduced after 24 h (>60% of all regulated genes). Specific repressors and activators of Pol II-dependent transcription were modified, and Pol II Serine 2 phosphorylation was significantly inhibited, indicating reduced activity of the polymerase. This active inhibition included disease–associated innate immune response pathways, defined by TLR4, IRF-3 and IRF-7, suggesting that ABU strains persist in human hosts by active suppression of the antibacterial defense. In a search for the mechanism of inhibition, we compared the whole genome sequences of E. coli 83972 and the uropathogenic strain E. coli CFT073. In addition to the known loss of virulence genes, we observed that the ABU strain has acquired several phages and identified the lytic Prophage 3 as a candidate Pol II inhibitor. Intact phage particles were released by ABU during in vitro growth in human urine. To address if Prophage 3 affects Pol II activity, we constructed a Prophage 3 negative deletion mutant in E. coli 83972 and compared the effect on Pol II phosphorylation between the mutant and the E. coli 83972 wild type (WT) strains. No difference was detected, suggesting that the Pol II inhibitor is not encoded by the phage. The review summarizes the evidence that the ABU strain E. coli 83972 modifies host gene expression by inhibition of Pol II phosphorylation, and discusses the ability of ABU strains to actively create an environment that enhances their persistence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Histone Deacetylase 6 Regulates Bladder Architecture and Host Susceptibility to Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010020 - 14 Feb 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a non-canonical, mostly cytosolic histone deacetylase that has a variety of interacting partners and substrates. Previous work using cell-culture based assays coupled with pharmacological inhibitors and gene-silencing approaches indicated that HDAC6 promotes the actin- and microtubule-dependent invasion of [...] Read more.
Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a non-canonical, mostly cytosolic histone deacetylase that has a variety of interacting partners and substrates. Previous work using cell-culture based assays coupled with pharmacological inhibitors and gene-silencing approaches indicated that HDAC6 promotes the actin- and microtubule-dependent invasion of host cells by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). These facultative intracellular pathogens are the major cause of urinary tract infections. Here, we examined the involvement of HDAC6 in bladder colonization by UPEC using HDAC6 knockout mice. Though UPEC was unable to invade HDAC6−/− cells in culture, the bacteria had an enhanced ability to colonize the bladders of mice that lacked HDAC6. This effect was transient, and by six hours post-inoculation bacterial titers in the HDAC6−/− mice were reduced to levels seen in wild type control animals. Subsequent analyses revealed that the mutant mice had greater bladder volume capacity and fluid retention, along with much higher levels of acetylated a-tubulin. In addition, infiltrating neutrophils recovered from the HDAC6−/− bladder harbored significantly more viable bacteria than their wild type counterparts. Cumulatively, these changes may negate any inhibitory effects that the lack of HDAC6 has on UPEC entry into individual host cells, and suggest roles for HDAC6 in other urological disorders such as urinary retention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Biomimickry of UPEC Cytoinvasion: A Novel Concept for Improved Drug Delivery in UTI
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010016 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. In an increasing number of cases, pathogen (multi-)resistance hampers durable treatment success via the standard therapies. On the functional level, the activity of urinary excreted antibiotics is compromized by the efficient tissue [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. In an increasing number of cases, pathogen (multi-)resistance hampers durable treatment success via the standard therapies. On the functional level, the activity of urinary excreted antibiotics is compromized by the efficient tissue colonization mechanism of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Advanced drug delivery systems aim at exploiting a glycan-mediated targeting mechanism, similar to the UPEC invasion pathway, to increase bioavailability. This may be realized by conjugation of intravesically applied drugs or drug carriers to chosen plant lectins. Higher local drug concentrations in or nearby bacterial reservoirs may be gained, with higher chances for complete eradication. In this study, preliminary parameters to clarify the potential of this biorecognitive approach were evaluated. Glycan-triggered interaction cascades and uptake processes of several plant lectins with distinct carbohydrate specificities were characterized, and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) could be identified as the most promising targeter for crossing the urothelial membrane barrier. In partially differentiated primary cells, intracellular accumulation sites were largely identical for GlcNAc- and Mannose-specific lectins. This indicates that WGA-mediated delivery may also enter host cells via the FimH-dependent uptake pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Neutrophil Migration into the Infected Uroepithelium Is Regulated by the Crosstalk between Resident and Helper Macrophages
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010015 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
The antibacterial defense against infections depends on the cooperation between distinct phagocytes of the innate immune system, namely macrophages and neutrophils. However, the mechanisms driving this cooperation are incompletely understood. In this study we describe the crosstalk between Ly6C+ and Ly6C [...] Read more.
The antibacterial defense against infections depends on the cooperation between distinct phagocytes of the innate immune system, namely macrophages and neutrophils. However, the mechanisms driving this cooperation are incompletely understood. In this study we describe the crosstalk between Ly6C+ and Ly6C macrophage-subtypes and neutrophils in the context of urinary tract infection (UTI) with uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). Ly6C macrophages acted as tissue resident sentinels and attracted circulating phagocytes by chemokines. Ly6C+ macrophages produced tumor necrosis factor (TNF) that licensed Ly6C macrophages to release preformed CXCL2, which in turn caused matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-9) secretion by neutrophils to enable transepithelial migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
The Global Prevalence of Infections in Urology Study: A Long-Term, Worldwide Surveillance Study on Urological Infections
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010010 - 19 Jan 2016
Cited by 17
Abstract
The Global Prevalence of Infections in Urology (GPIU) study is a worldwide-performed point prevalence study intended to create surveillance data on antibiotic resistance, type of urogenital infections, risk factors and data on antibiotic consumption, specifically in patients at urological departments with healthcare-associated urogenital [...] Read more.
The Global Prevalence of Infections in Urology (GPIU) study is a worldwide-performed point prevalence study intended to create surveillance data on antibiotic resistance, type of urogenital infections, risk factors and data on antibiotic consumption, specifically in patients at urological departments with healthcare-associated urogenital infections (HAUTI). Investigators registered data through a web-based application (http://gpiu.esiu.org/). Data collection includes the practice and characteristics of the hospital and urology ward. On a certain day in November, each year, all urological patients present in the urological department at 8:00 a.m. are screened for HAUTI encompassing their full hospital course from admission to discharge. Apart from the GPIU main study, several side studies are taking place, dealing with transurethral resection of the prostate, prostate biopsy, as well as urosepsis. The GPIU study has been annually performed since 2003. Eight-hundred fifty-six urology units from 70 countries have participated so far, including 27,542 patients. A proxy for antibiotic consumption is reflected by the application rates used for antibiotic prophylaxis for urological interventions. Resistance rates of most uropathogens against antibiotics were high, especially with a note of multidrug resistance. The severity of HAUTI is also increasing, 25% being urosepsis in recent years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessCommunication
Application and Optimization of relE as a Negative Selection Marker for Making Definitive Genetic Constructs in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010009 - 18 Jan 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Studies of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) pathogenesis have relied heavily on genetic manipulation to understand virulence factors. We applied a recently reported positive-negative selection system to create a series of unmarked, scarless FimH mutants that show identical phenotypes to previously reported marked FimH [...] Read more.
Studies of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) pathogenesis have relied heavily on genetic manipulation to understand virulence factors. We applied a recently reported positive-negative selection system to create a series of unmarked, scarless FimH mutants that show identical phenotypes to previously reported marked FimH mutants; these are now improved versions useful for definitive assignment of phenotypes to FimH mutations. We also increased the efficiency of this system by designing new primer sites, which should further improve the efficiency and convenience of using negative selection in UTI89, other UPEC, and other Enterobacteriaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Deliberate Establishment of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria—A Novel Strategy to Prevent Recurrent UTI
Pathogens 2016, 5(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5030052 - 29 Jul 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
We have established a novel strategy to reduce the risk for recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), where rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance poses a major threat. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) protects the host against symptomatic infections with more virulent strains. [...] Read more.
We have established a novel strategy to reduce the risk for recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), where rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance poses a major threat. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) protects the host against symptomatic infections with more virulent strains. To mimic this protective effect, we deliberately establish ABU in UTI-prone patients, who are refractory to conventional therapy. The patients are inoculated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) 83972, now widely used as a prototype ABU strain. Therapeutic efficacy has been demonstrated in a placebo-controlled trial, supporting the feasibility of using E. coli 83972 as a tool to prevent recurrent UTI and, potentially, to outcompete antibiotic-resistant strains from the human urinary tract. In addition, the human inoculation protocol offers unique opportunities to study host-parasite interaction in vivo in the human urinary tract. Here, we review the clinical evidence for protection using this approach as well as some molecular insights into the pathogenesis of UTI that have been gained during these studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
A Cellular GWAS Approach to Define Human Variation in Cellular Pathways Important to Inflammation
Pathogens 2016, 5(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5020039 - 26 Apr 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
An understanding of common human diversity in innate immune pathways should be beneficial in understanding autoimmune diseases, susceptibility to infection, and choices of anti-inflammatory treatment. Such understanding could also result in definition of currently unknown components of human inflammation pathways. A cellular genome-wide [...] Read more.
An understanding of common human diversity in innate immune pathways should be beneficial in understanding autoimmune diseases, susceptibility to infection, and choices of anti-inflammatory treatment. Such understanding could also result in definition of currently unknown components of human inflammation pathways. A cellular genome-wide association studies (GWAS) platform, termed Hi-HOST (High-throughput human in vitro susceptibility testing), was developed to assay in vitro cellular phenotypes of infection in genotyped lymphoblastoid cells from genetically diverse human populations. Hi-HOST allows for measurement of multiple host and pathogen parameters of infection/inflammation including: bacterial invasion and intracellular replication, host cell death, and cytokine production. Hi-HOST has been used to successfully define a significant portion of the heritable human diversity in inflammatory cell death in response to Salmonella typhimurium. It also led to the discovery of genetic variants important to protection against systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and protection against death and bacteremia in individuals with SIRS. Our laboratory is currently using this platform to define human diversity in autophagy and the NLPR3 inflammasome pathways, and to define new components that can impact the expression of phenotypes related to these pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Non-Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Urinary Tract Infections
Pathogens 2016, 5(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5020036 - 16 Apr 2016
Cited by 25
Abstract
Increasing antimicrobial resistance has stimulated interest in non-antibiotic prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Well-known steps in the pathogenesis of UTIs are urogenital colonization and adherence of uropathogens to uroepithelial cell receptors. To prevent colonization in postmenopausal women, vaginal, but not oral, [...] Read more.
Increasing antimicrobial resistance has stimulated interest in non-antibiotic prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Well-known steps in the pathogenesis of UTIs are urogenital colonization and adherence of uropathogens to uroepithelial cell receptors. To prevent colonization in postmenopausal women, vaginal, but not oral, estrogens have been shown to restore the vagina lactobacilli flora, reduce vaginal colonization with Enterobacteriaceae, and reduce the number of UTIs compared to placebo. Different lactobacilli strains show different results in the prevention of recurrent UTIs. Intravaginal suppositories with Lactobacillus crispatus in premenopausal women and oral capsules with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 in postmenopausal women are promising. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) cannot be recommended for the prevention of UTIs. Cranberries are thought to contain proanthocyanidins that can inhibit adherence of P-fimbriated E. coli to the uroepithelial cell receptors. Cranberry products decreased UTI recurrences about 30%–40% in premenopausal women with recurrent UTIs, but are less effective than low-dose antimicrobial prophylaxis. However, the optimal dose of cranberry product has still to be determined. Initially OM-89, a vaccine with 18 heat-killed E. coli extracts, seemed promising, but this was not confirmed in a recently randomized trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
Open AccessReview
Adhesive Pili in UTI Pathogenesis and Drug Development
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010030 - 15 Mar 2016
Cited by 22
Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections, affecting 150 million people each year worldwide. High recurrence rates and increasing antimicrobial resistance among uropathogens are making it imperative to develop alternative strategies for the treatment and prevention of this [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections, affecting 150 million people each year worldwide. High recurrence rates and increasing antimicrobial resistance among uropathogens are making it imperative to develop alternative strategies for the treatment and prevention of this common infection. In this Review, we discuss how understanding the: (i) molecular and biophysical basis of host-pathogen interactions; (ii) consequences of the molecular cross-talk at the host pathogen interface in terms of disease progression; and (iii) pathophysiology of UTIs is leading to efforts to translate this knowledge into novel therapeutics to treat and prevent these infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Urinary Tract Infection Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Translation
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010024 - 24 Feb 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
Rapid developments in infection biology create new and exciting options for individualized diagnostics and therapy. Such new practices are needed to improve patient survival and reduce morbidity. Molecular determinants of host resistance to infection are being characterized, making it possible to identify susceptible [...] Read more.
Rapid developments in infection biology create new and exciting options for individualized diagnostics and therapy. Such new practices are needed to improve patient survival and reduce morbidity. Molecular determinants of host resistance to infection are being characterized, making it possible to identify susceptible individuals and to predict their risk for future morbidity. Immunotherapy is emerging as a new strategy to treat infections worldwide and controlled boosting of the host immune defense represents an important therapeutic alternative to antibiotics. In proof of concept studies, we have demonstrated that this approach is feasible. The long-term goal is not just to remove the pathogens but to also develop technologies that restore resistance to infection in disease-prone patients and devise personalized therapeutic interventions. Here, we discuss some approaches to reaching these goals, in patients with urinary tract infection (UTI). We describe critical host signaling pathways that define symptoms and pathology and the genetic control of innate immune responses that balance protection against tissue damage. For some of these genes, human relevance has been documented in clinical studies, identifying them as potential targets for immune-modulatory therapies, as a complement to antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Perspective: Adhesion Mediated Signal Transduction in Bacterial Pathogens
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010023 - 18 Feb 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
During the infection process, pathogenic bacteria undergo large-scale transcriptional changes to promote virulence and increase intrahost survival. While much of this reprogramming occurs in response to changes in chemical environment, such as nutrient availability and pH, there is increasing evidence that adhesion to [...] Read more.
During the infection process, pathogenic bacteria undergo large-scale transcriptional changes to promote virulence and increase intrahost survival. While much of this reprogramming occurs in response to changes in chemical environment, such as nutrient availability and pH, there is increasing evidence that adhesion to host-tissue can also trigger signal transduction pathways resulting in differential gene expression. Determining the molecular mechanisms of adhesion-mediated signaling requires disentangling the contributions of chemical and mechanical stimuli. Here we highlight recent work demonstrating that surface attachment drives a transcriptional response in bacterial pathogens, including uropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli), and discuss the complexity of experimental design when dissecting the specific role of adhesion-mediated signaling during infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Asymtomatic Bacteriuria as a Model to Study the Coevolution of Hosts and Bacteria
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010021 - 15 Feb 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
During asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU), bacteria colonize the urinary tract for extended periods of time without causing symptoms of urinary tract infection. Previous studies indicate that many Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains that cause ABU have evolved from uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) [...] Read more.
During asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU), bacteria colonize the urinary tract for extended periods of time without causing symptoms of urinary tract infection. Previous studies indicate that many Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains that cause ABU have evolved from uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) by reductive evolution and loss of the ability to express functional virulence factors. For instance, the prototype ABU strain 83972 has a smaller genome than UPEC strains with deletions or point mutations in several virulence genes. To understand the mechanisms of bacterial adaptation and to find out whether the bacteria adapt in a host-specific manner, we compared the complete genome sequences of consecutive reisolates of ABU strain 83972 from different inoculated individuals and compared them with the genome of the parent strain. Reisolates from different hosts exhibited individual patterns of genomic alterations. Non-synonymous SNPs predominantly occurred in coding regions and often affected the amino acid sequence of proteins with global or pleiotropic regulatory function. These gene products are involved in different bacterial stress protection strategies, and metabolic and signaling pathways. Our data indicate that adaptation of E. coli 83972 to prolonged growth in the urinary tract involves responses to specific growth conditions and stresses present in the individual hosts. Accordingly, modulation of gene expression required for survival and growth under stress conditions seems to be most critical for long-term growth of E. coli 83972 in the urinary tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Why Serological Responses during Cystitis are Limited
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010019 - 14 Feb 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
The high frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs), some of which appear to be endogenous relapses rather than reinfections by new isolates, point to defects in the host’s memory immune response. It has been known for many decades that, whereas kidney infections evoked [...] Read more.
The high frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs), some of which appear to be endogenous relapses rather than reinfections by new isolates, point to defects in the host’s memory immune response. It has been known for many decades that, whereas kidney infections evoked an antibody response to the infecting bacteria, infections limited to the bladder failed to do so. We have identified the existence of a broadly immunosuppressive transcriptional program associated with the bladder, but not the kidneys, during infection of the urinary tract that is dependent on bladder mast cells. This involves the localized secretion of IL-10 and results in the suppression of humoral immune responses in the bladder. Mast cell-mediated immune suppression could suggest a role for these cells in critically balancing the needs to clear infections with the imperative to prevent harmful immune reactions in the host. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Genetic Variations in Vesicoureteral Reflux Sequelae
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010014 - 02 Feb 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common condition in children. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) represents a common associated condition with childhood UTI. UTI susceptibility appears to have a genetic component based on family and UTI cohort studies. Targeted analysis of innate immune system genetic [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common condition in children. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) represents a common associated condition with childhood UTI. UTI susceptibility appears to have a genetic component based on family and UTI cohort studies. Targeted analysis of innate immune system genetic variations indicate that these variations are important in UTI susceptibility. In this overview, we discuss how current cohorts and genetic strategies can be implemented to discover new susceptibility loci in patients with UTI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Novel Strategies in the Prevention and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010013 - 27 Jan 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections, especially in women and children, frequently treated with antibiotics. The alarming increase in antibiotic resistance is a global threat to future treatment of infections. Therefore, alternative strategies are urgently needed. The innate [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections, especially in women and children, frequently treated with antibiotics. The alarming increase in antibiotic resistance is a global threat to future treatment of infections. Therefore, alternative strategies are urgently needed. The innate immune system plays a fundamental role in protecting the urinary tract from infections. Antimicrobial peptides form an important part of the innate immunity. They are produced by epithelial cells and neutrophils and defend the urinary tract against invading bacteria. Since efficient resistance mechanisms have not evolved among bacterial pathogens, much effort has been put into exploring the role of antimicrobial peptides and possibilities to utilize them in clinical practice. Here, we describe the impact of antimicrobial peptides in the urinary tract and ways to enhance the production by hormones like vitamin D and estrogen. We also discuss the potential of medicinal herbs to be used in the prophylaxis and the treatment of urinary tract infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
Open AccessReview
Subversion of Host Innate Immunity by Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010002 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cause the majority of community-onset urinary tract infections (UTI) and represent a major etiologic agent of healthcare-associated UTI. Introduction of UPEC into the mammalian urinary tract evokes a well-described inflammatory response, comprising pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines as well as [...] Read more.
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cause the majority of community-onset urinary tract infections (UTI) and represent a major etiologic agent of healthcare-associated UTI. Introduction of UPEC into the mammalian urinary tract evokes a well-described inflammatory response, comprising pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines as well as cellular elements (neutrophils and macrophages). In human UTI, this inflammatory response contributes to symptomatology and provides means for diagnosis by standard clinical testing. Early in acute cystitis, as demonstrated in murine models, UPEC gains access to an intracellular niche that protects a population of replicating bacteria from arriving phagocytes. To ensure the establishment of this protected niche, UPEC employ multiple strategies to attenuate and delay the initiation of host inflammatory components, including epithelial secretion of chemoattractants. Recent work has also revealed novel mechanisms by which UPEC blunts neutrophil migration across infected uroepithelium. Taken together, these attributes distinguish UPEC from commensal and nonpathogenic E. coli strains. This review highlights the unique immune evasion and suppression strategies of this bacterial pathogen and offers directions for further study; molecular understanding of these mechanisms will inform the development of adjunctive, anti-virulence therapeutics for UTI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Characterization of the Multidrug Resistant Escherichia coli ST131 Clone
Pathogens 2015, 4(3), 422-430; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4030422 - 26 Jun 2015
Cited by 15
Abstract
Escherichia coli ST131 is a recently emerged and globally disseminated multidrug resistant clone associated with urinary tract and bloodstream infections in both community and clinical settings. The most common group of ST131 strains are defined by resistance to fluoroquinolones and possession of the [...] Read more.
Escherichia coli ST131 is a recently emerged and globally disseminated multidrug resistant clone associated with urinary tract and bloodstream infections in both community and clinical settings. The most common group of ST131 strains are defined by resistance to fluoroquinolones and possession of the type 1 fimbriae fimH30 allele. Here we provide an update on our recent work describing the globally epidemiology of ST131. We review the phylogeny of ST131 based on whole genome sequence data and highlight the important role of recombination in the evolution of this clonal lineage. We also summarize our findings on the virulence of the ST131 reference strain EC958, and highlight the use of transposon directed insertion-site sequencing to define genes associated with serum resistance and essential features of its large antibiotic resistance plasmid pEC958. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Other

Open AccessConference Report
The Paradigm Shift to Non-Treatment of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria
Pathogens 2016, 5(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5020038 - 19 Apr 2016
Cited by 21
Abstract
Asymptomatic bacteriuria, also called asymptomatic urinary infection, is a common finding in healthy women, and in women and men with abnormalities of the genitourinary tract. The characterization and introduction of the quantitative urine culture in the 1950s first allowed the reliable recognition of [...] Read more.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria, also called asymptomatic urinary infection, is a common finding in healthy women, and in women and men with abnormalities of the genitourinary tract. The characterization and introduction of the quantitative urine culture in the 1950s first allowed the reliable recognition of asymptomatic bacteriuria. The observations that a substantial proportion of patients with chronic pyelonephritis at autopsy had no history of symptomatic urinary infection, and the high frequency of pyelonephritis observed in pregnant women with untreated asymptomatic bacteriuria, supported a conclusion that asymptomatic bacteriuria was harmful. Subsequent screening and long term follow-up programs for asymptomatic bacteriuria in schoolgirls and women reported an increased frequency of symptomatic urinary tract infection for subjects with asymptomatic bacteriuria, but no increased morbidity from renal failure or hypertension, or increased mortality. Treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria did not decrease the frequency of symptomatic infection. Prospective, randomized, comparative trials enrolling premenopausal women, children, elderly populations, patients with long term catheters, and diabetic patients consistently report no benefits with antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria, and some evidence of harm. Several studies have also reported that antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria increases the short term risk of pyelonephritis. Current investigations are exploring the potential therapeutic intervention of establishing asymptomatic bacteriuria with an avirulent Escherichia coli strain to prevent symptomatic urinary tract infection for selected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
Open AccessConference Report
Cytoprotective Effect of Lactobacillus crispatus CTV-05 against Uropathogenic E. coli
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010027 - 08 Mar 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
The vaginal flora consists of a subset of different lactic acid producing bacteria, typically creating a hostile environment for infecting pathogens. However, the flora can easily be disrupted, creating a favorable milieu for uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), making it possible to further infect [...] Read more.
The vaginal flora consists of a subset of different lactic acid producing bacteria, typically creating a hostile environment for infecting pathogens. However, the flora can easily be disrupted, creating a favorable milieu for uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), making it possible to further infect the urinary system via the urethra. Probiotic use of different lactobacilli to restore the normal flora of the vagina has been proposed as a potential prophylactic treatment against urinary tract infections. This project evaluated the protective- and anti-inflammatory roles of the probiotic Lactobacillus crispatus strain CTV-05 in an in vitro system. The inflammatory response and the cytotoxic effect were studied by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and by trypan blue exclusion of cells inoculated with L. crispatus CTV-05 and comparing it to non-infected controls and UPEC infected cells. L. crispatus CTV-05 showed no cytotoxicity to vaginal epithelial cells compared to non-infected controls and provided significant protection against UPEC infection (p < 0.05). Further more, L. crispatus CTV-05 did not create a pro-inflammatory response in vitro, with no significant increase of IL-1β or IL-6. These results demonstrate the protective effect of using L. crispatus CTV-05 as a probiotic treatment to reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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A Comparative Analysis of the Mechanism of Toll-Like Receptor-Disruption by TIR-Containing Protein C from Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010025 - 29 Feb 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
The TIR-containing protein C (TcpC) of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains is a powerful virulence factor by impairing the signaling cascade of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Several other bacterial pathogens like Salmonella, Yersinia, Staphylococcus aureus but also non-pathogens express similar proteins. We discuss [...] Read more.
The TIR-containing protein C (TcpC) of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains is a powerful virulence factor by impairing the signaling cascade of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Several other bacterial pathogens like Salmonella, Yersinia, Staphylococcus aureus but also non-pathogens express similar proteins. We discuss here the pathogenic potential of TcpC and its interaction with TLRs and TLR-adapter proteins on the molecular level and compare its activity with the activity of other bacterial TIR-containing proteins. Finally, we analyze and compare the structure of bacterial TIR-domains with the TIR-domains of TLRs and TLR-adapters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Open AccessConference Report
Measuring Escherichia coli Gene Expression during Human Urinary Tract Infections
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010007 - 15 Jan 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
Extraintestinal Escherichia coli (E. coli) evolved by acquisition of pathogenicity islands, phage, plasmids, and DNA segments by horizontal gene transfer. Strains are heterogeneous but virulent uropathogenic isolates more often have specific fimbriae, toxins, and iron receptors than commensal strains. One may [...] Read more.
Extraintestinal Escherichia coli (E. coli) evolved by acquisition of pathogenicity islands, phage, plasmids, and DNA segments by horizontal gene transfer. Strains are heterogeneous but virulent uropathogenic isolates more often have specific fimbriae, toxins, and iron receptors than commensal strains. One may ask whether it is the virulence factors alone that are required to establish infection. While these virulence factors clearly contribute strongly to pathogenesis, bacteria must survive by metabolizing nutrients available to them. By constructing mutants in all major metabolic pathways and co-challenging mice transurethrally with each mutant and the wild type strain, we identified which major metabolic pathways are required to infect the urinary tract. We must also ask what else is E. coli doing in vivo? To answer this question, we examined the transcriptome of E. coli CFT073 in the murine model of urinary tract infection (UTI) as well as for E. coli strains collected and analyzed directly from the urine of patients attending either a urology clinic or a university health clinic for symptoms of UTI. Using microarrays and RNA-seq, we measured in vivo gene expression for these uropathogenic E. coli strains, identifying genes upregulated during murine and human UTI. Our findings allow us to propose a new definition of bacterial virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Clinical Urological Practice: Preoperative Control of Bacteriuria and Management of Recurrent UTI
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010004 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is a common clinical condition that often leads to unnecessary antimicrobial use. The reduction of antibiotic overuse for ABU is consequently an important issue for antimicrobial stewardship and to reduce the emergence of multidrug resistant strains. There are two issues [...] Read more.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is a common clinical condition that often leads to unnecessary antimicrobial use. The reduction of antibiotic overuse for ABU is consequently an important issue for antimicrobial stewardship and to reduce the emergence of multidrug resistant strains. There are two issues in everyday urological practice that require special attention: the role of ABU in pre-operative prophylaxis and in women affected by recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs). Nowadays, this is the time to think over our practice and change our way of thinking. Here, we aimed to summarize the current literature knowledge in terms of ABU management in patients undergoing urological surgery and in patients with rUTIs. In the last years, the approach to patient with ABU has changed totally. Prior to all surgical procedures that do not enter the urinary tract, ABU is generally not considered as a risk factor, and screening and treatment are not considered necessary. On the other hand, in the case of all procedures entering the urinary tract, ABU should be treated in line with the results of a urine culture obtained before the procedure. In patients affected by rUTIs, ABU can even have a protective role in preventing symptomatic recurrence, particularly when Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) has been isolated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Brighter Fluorescent Derivatives of UTI89 Utilizing a Monomeric vGFP
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010003 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fluorescent proteins, especially green fluorescent protein (GFP), have been instrumental in understanding urinary tract infection pathogenesis by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). We have used a recently developed GFP variant, vsfGFP-9, to create new plasmid- and chromosome-based GFP derivatives of the UPEC strain UTI89. [...] Read more.
Fluorescent proteins, especially green fluorescent protein (GFP), have been instrumental in understanding urinary tract infection pathogenesis by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). We have used a recently developed GFP variant, vsfGFP-9, to create new plasmid- and chromosome-based GFP derivatives of the UPEC strain UTI89. The vsfGFP-9 strains are nearly 10× brighter with no in vitro growth or in vivo virulence defects compared to previously reported GFP-expressing UTI89 strains. The chromosomal vsfGFP-9 strain is equivalent to the wild type UTI89 during in vivo UTI, while both plasmid GFP constructs have an equivalent virulence defect compared to non-plasmid carrying UTI89. These new vsfGFP-9 expressing strains should be useful for further studies of the pathogenesis of UTI89, and similar strategies can be used to create improved fluorescent derivatives of other UPEC strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Development of a Vaccine against Escherichia coli Urinary Tract Infections
Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010001 - 31 Dec 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common infection in humans after those involving the respiratory tract. This results not only in huge annual economic costs, but in decreased workforce productivity and high patient morbidity. Most infections are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common infection in humans after those involving the respiratory tract. This results not only in huge annual economic costs, but in decreased workforce productivity and high patient morbidity. Most infections are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Antibiotic treatment is generally effective for eradication of the infecting strain; however, documentation of increasing antibiotic resistance, allergic reaction to certain pharmaceuticals, alteration of normal gut flora, and failure to prevent recurrent infections represent significant barriers to treatment. As a result, approaches to prevent UTI such as vaccination represent a gap that must be addressed. Our laboratory has made progress toward development of a preventive vaccine against UPEC. The long-term research goal is to prevent UTIs in women with recurrent UTIs. Our objective has been to identify the optimal combination of protective antigens for inclusion in an effective UTI vaccine, optimal adjuvant, optimal dose, and optimal route of delivery. We hypothesized that a multi-subunit vaccine elicits antibody that protects against experimental challenge with UPEC strains. We have systematically identified four antigens that can individually protect experimentally infected mice from colonization of the bladder and/or kidneys by UPEC when administered intranasally with cholera toxin (CT) as an adjuvant. To advance the vaccine for utility in humans, we will group the individual antigens, all associated with iron acquisition (IreA, Hma, IutA, FyuA), into an effective combination to establish a multi-subunit vaccine. We demonstrated for all four vaccine antigens that antigen-specific serum IgG represents a strong correlate of protection in vaccinated mice. High antibody titers correlate with low colony forming units (CFUs) of UPEC following transurethral challenge of vaccinated mice. However, the contribution of cell-mediated immunity cannot be ruled out and must be investigated experimentally. We have demonstrated that antibodies bind to the surface of UPEC expressing the antigens. Sera from women with and without histories of UTI have been tested for antibody levels to vaccine antigens. Our results validate iron acquisition as a target for vaccination against UTI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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