New aspects of the role of MR/P fimbriae in Proteus mirabilis urinary tract infection

P Zunino, L Geymonat, A G Allen, A Preston, V Sosa, D J Maskell

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Proteus mirabilis, a common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI), produces a number of different fimbriae including mannose-resistant Proteus-like fimbriae (MR/P). The precise role of different P. mirabilis fimbriae in ascending UTI has not yet been elucidated. In this study, a clinical isolate of P. mirabilis and an isogenic mutant unable to express MR/P were tested using different experimental approaches. They were tested for their ability to cause infection in an ascending co-infection model of UTI and in a haematogenous model in the mouse. In both models, the mutant was less able than the wild-type strain to colonise the lower and upper urinary tracts although infectivity was not abolished. In vitro adherence to uroepithelial cells was also assessed. Significant differences in adherence between both strains were observed at 1 h but not at 15 min post infection. We have also shown that a wild-type strain carries two copies of the mrpA gene. These data reinforce the importance of MR/P fimbriae in P. mirabilis UTI although other virulence factors may be necessary for efficient colonisation and development of infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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