Repeated treatments with Chitosan in combination with antibiotics completely eradicate uropathogenic Escherichia coli from infected mouse urinary bladders

Abstract

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the primary causative agents of urinary tract infections, colonize and invade the epithelial cells of the bladder urothelium. Infection of immature urothelial cells can result in the formation of persistent intracellular reservoirs that are refractory to antibiotic treatments. Previously, we defined a novel therapeutic strategy that used the bladder cell exfoliant chitosan to deplete UPEC reservoirs. However, although a single treatment of chitosan followed by ciprofloxacin administration had a marked effect on reducing UPEC titers within the bladder, this treatment failed to prevent relapsing bacteriuria. We show here that repeated use of chitosan in conjunction with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin completely eradicates UPEC from the urinary tract and prevents the development of relapsing bouts of bacteriuria. In addition, microscopy revealed rapid restoration of bladder integrity following chitosan treatment, indicating that chitosan can be used to effectively combat recalcitrant bladder infections without causing lasting harm to the urothelium.

Publication
Journal of Infectious Diseases, (216), 3, pp. 375–381, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix023

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