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J Clin Invest. 1979 Jul;64(1):333-6.

Antipili antibody affords protection against experimental ascending pyelonephritis.


The ability of antipili antibody to prevent ascending urinary tract infection was investigated in rats. One group of rats was immunized passively with rabbit antisera to purified pili and challenged by intravesicular inoculation of 5 x 10(7) heavily piliated Escherichia coli. Only 2 of 14 immunized animals developed cortical abscesses as compared to 13 of 15 control rats given normal rabbit serum (P equals 0.0001). The mean log titer of bacteria in the kidneys of the immunized rats was 0.85 vs. 6.08 in the controls (P less than 0.005). A second group was actively immunized with pili. 3 of 16 immunized animals became infected as compared to 10 of 15 controls (P equals 0.01). The mean log titers were 2.13 and 4.54, respectively (P less than 0.01). A third group was passively immunized and challenged with a strain that had different O, K, and H antigens but shared pili antigens. Abscesses occurred in 4 of 15 immunized animals as compared to 13 of 15 controls (P equals 0.001). The mean log titers were 2.37 and 5.63, respectively (P less than 0.005). These results indicate that antipili antibody protects rats against ascending urinary tract infections.

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