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Cytokine. 2007 Jan;37(1):22-5. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Specificity of immunomodulator secretion in urinary samples in response to infection by alpha-hemolysin and CNF1 bearing uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

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INSERM, U627, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Avenue de Valombrose, F-06107 Nice Cedex 2, France.


Escherichia coli are the most common etiological agents of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Uropathogenic E. coli (UPECs) produce specific toxins including the cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 (CNF1) and the alpha-hemolysin (alpha-Hly). CNF1 triggers, through Rho protein activation, a specific gene response of host cells, which results in the production for instance of interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and the macrophage inflammatory protein-3alpha (MIP-3alpha). The alpha hemolysin alpha-Hly also triggers the production of inflammatory mediators. Cnf1 is always associated with alpha-hly in a pathogenicity island conserved among UPECs. Using two complementary approaches we have investigated whether alpha-hly and cnf1 bearing UPECs are associated with a specific type of UTI both in term of pathology and host response. Here we report that UPECs bearing alpha-hly/cnf1 have a prevalence of 50% in UPECs isolated from hemorrhagic UTIs, as compared to 30% in the overall UPEC population. In addition, we observed that MCP-1, and IL-8 to a lower extent, is produced in urine at higher concentrations in UTIs caused by UPECs carrying alpha-hly/cnf1.

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