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Infect Immun. 2018 Aug 22;86(9). pii: e00327-18. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00327-18. Print 2018 Sep.

Urine Cytokine and Chemokine Levels Predict Urinary Tract Infection Severity Independent of Uropathogen, Urine Bacterial Burden, Host Genetics, and Host Age.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infections worldwide. Diagnosing UTIs in older adults poses a significant challenge as asymptomatic colonization is common. Identification of a noninvasive profile that predicts likelihood of progressing from urine colonization to severe disease would provide a significant advantage in clinical practice. We monitored colonization susceptibility, disease severity, and immune response to two uropathogens in two mouse strains across three age groups to identify predictors of infection outcome. Proteus mirabilis caused more severe disease than Escherichia coli, regardless of mouse strain or age, and was associated with differences in interleukin-1β (IL-1β), beta interferon (IFN-β), CXCL5 (LIX), CCL5 (RANTES), and CCL2 (MCP-1). In a comparison of responses to infection across age groups, mature adult mice were better able to control colonization and prevent progression to kidney colonization and bacteremia than young or aged mice, regardless of mouse strain or bacterial species, and this was associated with differences in IL-23, CXCL1, and CCL5. A bimodal distribution was noted for urine colonization, which was strongly associated with bladder CFU counts and the magnitude of the immune response but independent of age or disease severity. To determine the value of urine cytokine and chemokine levels for predicting severe disease, all infection data sets were combined and subjected to a series of logistic regressions. A multivariate model incorporating IL-1β, CXCL1, and CCL2 had strong predictive value for identifying mice that did not develop kidney colonization or bacteremia, regardless of mouse genetic background, age, infecting bacterial species, or urine bacterial burden. In conclusion, urine cytokine profiles could potentially serve as a noninvasive decision support tool in clinical practice and contribute to antimicrobial stewardship.


CAUTI; Escherichia coli; Proteus mirabilis; UTI; aging; bacteremia; chemokine; cytokine; pyelonephritis; urinary tract infection

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