Pathogenesis of bacteriuria in women with diabetes mellitus

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2002 Jun;19(6):539-45. doi: 10.1016/s0924-8579(02)00090-0.


Women with diabetes mellitus (DM) have asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) and symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs) more often than women without DM. The increased prevalence of bacteriuria in diabetic patients can be the result of differences in the host responses between diabetic and nondiabetic patients, or a difference in the infecting bacterium itself. We have shown that the increased prevalence of ASB in diabetic women is not the result of a difference in bacteria, because the same number of virulence factors was found in the infecting Escherichia coli (most common causative microorganism of ASB) in our diabetic women with ASB, as listed in the literature for nondiabetic patients with ASB. We found that bacterial growth in vitro was increased after the addition of different glucose concentrations, as found in urine of poorly controlled patients. However, we could not confirm that glucosuria was a risk factor for ASB in vivo. In addition, we demonstrated that women with both DM and ASB have lower urinary cytokine and leukocyte concentrations than women without DM but with ASB. Finally, we found that E. coli expressing type 1 fimbriae (the virulence factor that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of UTIs) adhere better to uroepithelial cells of women with DM compared with the cells of women without DM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriuria / complications*
  • Bacteriuria / immunology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / immunology