Escherichia coli, a cause of ~90% of urinary tract infections (UTI), utilizes fimbrial adhesins to colonize the uroepithelium. Pyelonephritis isolate E. coli CFT073 carries 12 fimbrial operons, 5 of which have never been studied. Using multiplex PCR, the prevalence of these 12 and 3 additional fimbrial types was determined for a collection of 303 E. coli isolates (57 human commensal, 32 animal commensal, 54 asymptomatic bacteriuria, 45 complicated UTI, 38 uncomplicated cystitis, and 77 pyelonephritis). The number of fimbrial types per E. coli isolate was distributed bimodally: those with low (3.2 ± 1.1) and those with high (8.3 ± 1.3) numbers of fimbrial types (means _ standard errors of the means). The fimbrial genes ygiL, yadN, yfcV, and c2395 were significantly more prevalent among urine isolates than human commensal isolates. The effect of deletion of Ygi and Yad fimbrial operons on growth, motility, biofilm formation, adherence to immortalized human epithelial cells, and pathogenesis in the mouse model of UTI was examined. Yad fimbriae were necessary for wild-type levels of adherence to a bladder epithelial cell line and for biofilm formation. Deletion of these fimbrial genes increased motility. Ygi fimbriae were necessary for wild-type levels of adherence to a human embryonic kidney cell line, biofilm formation, and in vivo fitness in the urine and kidneys. Complementation of each fimbrial mutant restored wild-type levels of motility, biofilm formation, adherence and, for ygi, in vivo fitness. A double deletion strain, Δygi Δyad, was attenuated in the urine, bladder, and kidneys in the mouse model, demonstrating that these fimbriae contribute to uropathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases