Infection and immunity

Antibodies against hemolysin and cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1 (CNF1) reduce bladder inflammation in a mouse model of urinary tract infection with toxigenic uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

PMID 25667267


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the leading cause of cystitis. Cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (CNF1) and hemolysin (Hly) are toxins made by approximately 50% of UPEC isolates. CNF1 and Hly contribute to the robust inflammatory response in the bladders of mice challenged with UPEC strain CP9. We hypothesized that antibodies against CNF1 and/or Hly would reduce cystitis caused by CP9. To test this theory, we immunized female C3H/HeOuJ mice subcutaneously with a genetically derived Hly toxoid or genetically derived CNF1 toxoid plus sublethal doses of CNF1. We collected serum and observed increasing titers of specific and neutralizing antibodies against Hly or CNF1 over time. We challenged the mice intraurethrally with CP9 and euthanized them 24 h later. We observed 10-fold lower bacterial titers in the urine of Hly-immunized mice than in that of sham-immunized mice but no difference in kidney bacterial titers. Immunized mice also exhibited significantly less cystitis than sham-immunized mice. In CNF1-vaccinated mice, we detected neither a difference in urine or kidney bacterial titers nor a reduction in the severity of cystitis versus that of sham-immunized mice. We then passively administered an anti-CNF1 monoclonal antibody intraperitoneally to female C3H/HeOuJ mice prior to intraurethral challenge with CP9. Upon challenge, we noted no difference in colonization of the urine or kidney; however, cystitis was reduced significantly in mice treated with the anti-CNF1 antibody versus that in the bladders of mice given an isotype control antibody. Taken together, our data demonstrate that antibodies against CNF1 or Hly reduce the bladder pathology caused by UPEC.

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