Intracellular bacterial biofilm-like pods in urinary tract infections

Gregory G. Anderson, Joseph J. Palermo, Joel D. Schilling, Robyn Roth, John Heuser, Scott J. Hultgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

747 Scopus citations

Abstract

Escherichia coli entry into the bladder is met with potent innate defenses, including neutrophil influx and epithelial exfoliation. Bacterial subversion of innate responses involves invasion into bladder superficial cells. We discovered that the intracellular bacteria matured into biofilms, creating pod-like bulges on the bladder surface. Pods contained bacteria encased in a polysaccharide-rich matrix surrounded by a protective shell of uroplakin. Within the biofilm, bacterial structures interacted extensively with the surrounding matrix, and biofilm associated factors had regional variation in expression. The discovery of intracellular biofilm-like pods explains how bladder infections can persist in the face of robust host defenses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-107
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume301
Issue number5629
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2003

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