Sticky fibers and uropathogenesis: bacterial adhesins in the urinary tract.

Kelly J. Wright, Scott J. Hultgren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Adhesins mediate the introduction of bacteria to the host in the sometimes life-long relationship of uropathogenic Esherichia coli (UPEC) and the human urinary tract. As a class of extracellular proteins, adhesins enable bacteria to adhere to and, in some cases, invade host tissue; adhesins render UPEC virulent and permit host colonization. Adhesin receptor interactions at the host interface determine tissue tropism and disease progression in that niche, with each adhesin preferring unique sites within the urinary tract. This review focuses on known adhesins implicated in uropathogenesis, the structural basis of tissue tropism, postinvasion intracellular replication, current therapeutic design strategies, and newly discovered fimbrial gene clusters that may play a role in urinary tract infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalFuture microbiology
StatePublished - Jun 2006


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