Rethinking UTIs: New data may shape therapy

Dec 01, 2005

St. Louis--In the opinion of many, the work emanating from Scott Hultgren, PhD's laboratory in the molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis program at Washington University School of Medicine will revolutionize the treatment of urinary tract infections, a particularly vexing clinical challenge.

St. Louis-In the opinion of many, the work emanating from Scott Hultgren, PhD's laboratory in the molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis program at Washington University School of Medicine will revolutionize the treatment of urinary tract infections, a particularly vexing clinical challenge.

According to his research, recurrent infections are probably more accurately described as resurgent infections because they evolve from quiescent reservoirs established not on the surface of the bladder lumen, but in colonies within the umbrella cells of the bladder.

He has the pictures to prove it. Using explants from mouse bladders infected with Escherichia coli strains and a process called time-lapse videomicroscopy developed by Julie A. Theriot, PhD, an associate professor in the department of biochemistry at the Stanford (CA) University School of Medicine, Dr. Hultgren and his associates were able to photograph four distinct stages of bacterial development and colonization.

Dr. Hultgren, who presented his research during a lecture at the AUA annual meeting, recognizes that the work needs to be replicated in human bladders. He has already repeated it in animal models with several bacteria strains and feels confident that the organisms will behave similarly in humans.