Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most common infectious diseases of humans and are the most common nosocomial infections in the developed world. It is estimated that 40-50% of women and 5% of men will develop a UTI in their lifetime, and UTI accounts for more than 1 million hospitalizations and $1.6 billion in medical expenses each year in the USA. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the primary cause of UTI. This review presents an overview of recent discoveries related to the primary virulence factors of UPEC and major innate immune responses to infection of the lower urinary tract. New and emerging themes in UPEC research are discussed in the context of the interface between host and pathogen.
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