The antibiotic-resistant bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii is a leading cause of hospital-associated infections. Despite surveillance and infection control efforts, new A. baumannii strains are regularly isolated from health care facilities worldwide. In a mouse model of urinary tract infection, we found that mice infected with A. baumannii displayed high bacterial burdens in urine for several weeks. Two months after the resolution of A. baumannii infection, inserting a catheter into the bladder of mice with resolved infection led to the resurgence of a same-strain urinary tract infection in ~53% of the mice within 24 hours. We identified intracellular A. baumannii bacteria in the bladder epithelial cells of mice with resolved infection, which we propose could act as a host reservoir that was activated upon insertion of a catheter, leading to a resurgent secondary infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabn8134
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number678
StatePublished - Jan 11 2023


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