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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Sep;11(3):531-49.

Pathogenesis of urinary tract infection. Role of host defenses.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Michigan, USA.


In the last decade, there have been modest strides made in our understanding of the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Matching the advances achieved in unraveling the complexities of bacterial virulence factors using molecular-genetic techniques has been a parallel increase in knowledge of host defense mechanisms. Host susceptibility to UTI in the past has been predominantly studied in patients with structural (obstruction) or functional abnormalities (diabetes mellitus); however, most patients with UTIs have no such demonstrable abnormalities, hence attention has now focused on host behavioral factors in addition to genetically determined cellular mechanisms that predispose to sporadic and recurrent UTI.

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