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Given the high frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and their recurrence, there is keen interest in developing effective UTI vaccines. Currently, most vaccine studies, including those in humans, involve parenteral vaccination aimed at evoking and sustaining elevated levels of systemic antibody directed at the uropathogens. In view of recent reports of aberrant Th2-biased bladder immune responses to infection, we hypothesized that immunizing mice intravesically with antigens from uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) combined with a Th1-skewing adjuvant could correct this defect and promote protection against UTIs. Here we report that compared with mice immunized subcutaneously with this vaccine combination, intravesically immunized mice were markedly more protected from UTIs because of their distinctive ability to recruit Th1 cells into the bladder. This mode of vaccination was effective even in mice that experienced multiple UTIs and displayed pronounced aberrant bladder immune responses. Thus, intravesical vaccination with one or more UPEC antigens to induce bladder Th1 responses represents a superior strategy to combat UTIs, especially in UTI-prone subjects.


Jianxuan Wu, Chunjing Bao, R Lee Reinhardt, Soman N Abraham. Local induction of bladder Th1 responses to combat urinary tract infections. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2021 Mar 09;118(10)

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PMID: 33653961

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