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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Nov;57(11):5197-201. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00616-13. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy of gallium in bladder tissue following gallium maltolate administration during urinary tract infection.

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Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


A mouse model of cystitis caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli was used to study the distribution of gallium in bladder tissue following oral administration of gallium maltolate during urinary tract infection. The median concentration of gallium in homogenized bladder tissue from infected mice was 1.93 μg/g after daily administration of gallium maltolate for 5 days. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy of bladder sections confirmed that gallium arrived at the transitional epithelium, a potential site of uropathogenic E. coli infection. Gallium and iron were similarly but not identically distributed in the tissues, suggesting that at least some distribution mechanisms are not common between the two elements. The results of this study indicate that gallium maltolate may be a suitable candidate for further development as a novel antimicrobial therapy for urinary tract infections caused by uropathogenic E. coli.

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