Urinary tract infections (UTIs) inflict extreme pain and discomfort to those affected and have profound medical and socioeconomic impact. Although acute UTIs are often treatable with antibiotics, a large proportion of patients suffer from multiple recurrent infections. Here, we describe and provide a protocol for a robust murine UTI model that allows for the study of uropathogens in an ideal setting. The infections in the urinary tract can be monitored quantitatively by determining the bacterial loads at different times post-infection. In addition, the simple bladder architecture allows observation of disease progression and the uropathogenic virulence cascade using a variety of microscopic techniques. This mouse UTI model is extremely flexible, allowing the study of different bacterial strains and species of uropathogens in a broad range of mouse genetic backgrounds. We have used this protocol to identify important aspects of the host-pathogen interaction that determine the outcome of infection. The time required to complete the entire procedure will depend on the number of bacterial strains and mice included in the study. Nevertheless, one should expect 4 h of hands-on time, including inoculum preparation on the day of infection, transurethral inoculation, tissue harvest and post-harvest processing for a small group of mice (e.g., 5 mice).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1243
Number of pages14
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009


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