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Cell Microbiol. 2007 Jul;9(7):1766-81. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

Do type 1 fimbriae promote inflammation in the human urinary tract?

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Glycobiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Type 1 fimbriae have been implicated as virulence factors in animal models of urinary tract infection (UTI), but the function in human disease remains unclear. This study used a human challenge model to examine if type 1 fimbriae trigger inflammation in the urinary tract. The asymptomatic bacteriuria strain Escherichia coli 83972, which fails to express type 1 fimbriae, due to a 4.25 kb fimB-fimD deletion, was reconstituted with a functional fim gene cluster and fimbrial expression was monitored through a gfp reporter. Each patient was inoculated with the fim+ or fim- variants on separate occasions, and the host response to type 1 fimbriae was quantified by intraindividual comparisons of the responses to the fim+ or fim- isogens, using cytokines and neutrophils as end-points. Type 1 fimbriae did not promote inflammation and adherence was poor, as examined on exfoliated cells in urine. This was unexpected, as type 1 fimbriae enhanced the inflammatory response to the same strain in the murine urinary tract and as P fimbrial expression by E. coli 83972 enhances adherence and inflammation in challenged patients. We conclude that type 1 fimbriae do not contribute to the mucosal inflammatory response in the human urinary tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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