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Immune modulation by group B Streptococcus influences host susceptibility to urinary tract infection by uropathogenic Escherichia coli

, : Immune modulation by group B Streptococcus influences host susceptibility to urinary tract infection by uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infection and Immunity 80(12): 4186-4194

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is most often caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC inoculation into the female urinary tract (UT) can occur through physical activities that expose the UT to an inherently polymicrobial periurethral, vaginal, or gastrointestinal flora. We report that a common urogenital inhabitant and opportunistic pathogen, group B Streptococcus (GBS), when present at the time of UPEC exposure, undergoes rapid UPEC-dependent exclusion from the murine urinary tract, yet it influences acute UPEC-host interactions and alters host susceptibility to persistent outcomes of bladder and kidney infection. GBS presence results in increased UPEC titers in the bladder lumen during acute infection and reduced inflammatory responses of murine macrophages to live UPEC or purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS), phenotypes that require GBS mimicry of host sialic acid residues. Taken together, these studies suggest that despite low titers, the presence of GBS at the time of polymicrobial UT exposure may be an overlooked risk factor for chronic pyelonephritis and recurrent UTI in susceptible groups, even if it is outcompeted and thus absent by the time of diagnosis.


PMID: 22988014

DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00684-12

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