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Traffic. 2005 Jan;6(1):18-31.

Covert operations of uropathogenic Escherichia coli within the urinary tract.

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Pathology Department, Division of Cell Biology and Immunology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 North 1900 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132-2501, USA.


Entry into host cells is required for many bacterial pathogens to effectively disseminate within a host, avoid immune detection and cause disease. In recent years, many ostensibly extracellular bacteria have been shown to act as opportunistic intracellular pathogens. Among these are strains of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the primary causative agents of urinary tract infections (UTIs). UPEC are able to transiently invade, survive and multiply within the host cells and tissues constituting the urinary tract. Invasion of host cells by UPEC is promoted independently by distinct virulence factors, including cytotoxic necrotizing factor, Afa/Dr adhesins, and type 1 pili. Here we review the diverse mechanisms and consequences of host cell invasion by UPEC, focusing also on the impact of these processes on the persistence and recurrence of UTIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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