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Novel Approaches to Preventing Urinary Tract Infection in Women

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Final rept. 1 Sep 1996-31 Aug 2001

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Urinary tract infections UTIs, generally caused by Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus saprophyticus, are extremely common among young women. Although UTIs can be treated, we currently lack effective means to prevent frequently UTIs, which occur in 25 of women with first UTI. A necessary prerequisite to UTI is adherence of uropathogens to the vaginal and bladder epithelium. Preliminary studies show that glycosphingolipids GSLs are key host cell receptors for E. coli and S. saprophyticus. This final report describes progress in a project whose overall goal is to 1 show that globoseries and ganglioseries GSLs are present in primary cultures of human vaginal and bladder epithelial cells and characterize the GSLs 2 define the roles of these GSLs in E. coli and S. saprophyticus UTI, using these culture systems and 4 use these results to design new agents to prevent colonization and infection in women. We have developed these cultured cell systems as new models for studying UTI in women and have characterized GSL binding receptors in these cell cultures. We defined new functional aspects of these epithelia in UTI and developed methods for preparing blocking agents. These findings will be useful in further studies of UTI and other urogenital infections.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology

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