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J Infect Dis. 2010 Mar 15;201(6):866-70. doi: 10.1086/650696.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) urinary tract infection involves binding of GBS to bladder uroepithelium and potent but GBS-specific induction of interleukin 1alpha.

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Departments of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes urinary tract infections, but the pathogenic mechanisms underlying GBS urinary tract infections are unknown. We investigated whether uropathogenic GBS can bind to bladder uroepithelium to initiate urinary tract infection. Uropathogenic GBS isolated from a patient with acute cystitis bound to human T24 bladder uroepithelial cells in close association with F-actin in statistically significantly higher numbers compared with nonuropathogenic GBS. In vivo modeling using transurethrally infected mice revealed superior fitness of uropathogenic GBS for bladder colonization and potent uropathogenic GBS-specific up-regulation of interleukin 1alpha during infection. Thus, binding of uropathogenic GBS to uroepithelium and vigorous induction of interleukin 1alpha represents the initial stages of GBS urinary tract infection.

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