Vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections shows early promise

September 18, 2009

University of Michigan (U-M) scientists have made an important step toward what could become the first vaccine in the U.S. to prevent urinary tract infections, if the robust immunity achieved in mice can be reproduced in humans. The findings are published September 18 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect 53 percent of women and 14 percent of men at least once in their lives. These infections lead to lost work time and 6.8 million medical provider's office visits, 1.3 million emergency room visits and 245,000 hospitalizations a year, with an annual cost of $2.4 billion in the United States.

To help combat this common health issue, the U-M scientists used a novel systematic approach, combining bioinformatics, genomics and , to look for key parts of the bacterium, Escherichia coli, that could be used in a vaccine to elicit an effective immune response. The team, led by Dr. Harry L.T. Mobley, Ph.D., screened 5,379 possible bacterial proteins and identified three strong candidates to use in a vaccine to prime the body to fight E. coli, the cause of most uncomplicated . The vaccine prevented infection and produced key types of immunity when tested in mice.

Scientists have attempted to develop a vaccine for UTIs over the past two decades. This latest potential vaccine has features that may better its chances of success. It alerts the immune system to iron receptors on the surface of bacteria that perform a critical function allowing infection to spread. Administered in the nose, it induces an in the body's , a first line of defense against invading pathogens. The response, also produced in mucosal tissue in the urinary tract, should help the body fight infection where it starts.

Mobley's team is currently testing more strains of E. coli obtained from women treated at U-M. Most of the strains produce the same iron-related proteins that cthe vaccine targets, an encouraging sign that the vaccine could work against many urinary tract infections. Mobley is seeking partners in clinical research to move the vaccine forward into a phase 1 trial in humans. If successful, this vaccine would take several more years to reach the market.

More information: Alteri CJ, Hagan EC, Sivick KE, Smith SN, Mobley HLT (2009) Mucosal Immunization with Iron Receptor Antigens Protects against Urinary Tract Infection. PLoS Pathog 5(9): e1000586. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000586

Source: Public Library of Science (news : web)

Explore further: One Bacteria Stops Another on Contact: Findings Have Potential Implications for Urinary Tract Infections

Related Stories

Vaccine for koala chlamydia close

July 17, 2008

Professors Peter Timms and Ken Beagley from Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) said the vaccinated koalas, which are at Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, were mounting ...

How HIV vaccine might have increased odds of infection

November 3, 2008

In September 2007, a phase II HIV-1 vaccine trial was abruptly halted when researchers found that the vaccine may have promoted, rather than prevented, HIV infection. A new study by a team of researchers at the Montpellier ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.