Host subversion by formation of intracellular bacterial communities in the urinary tract

Microbes Infect. 2004 Oct;6(12):1094-101. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2004.05.023.


Urinary tract infections pose a serious health threat with respect to antibiotic resistance and high recurrence rates. While the host robustly responds to bacterial infiltration into the bladder, uropathogenic Escherichia coli can survive the onslaught to persist for months after initially infecting. To accomplish this feat, uropathogenic E. coli forms intracellular bacterial communities, with many biofilm-like properties, within the bladder epithelium. These communities may allow bacteria to subvert host defenses and form a persistent reservoir in the bladder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Urinary Bladder / cytology
  • Urinary Bladder / microbiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / immunology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*