Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI) is a major global public health problem. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the predominant causative agent of UTI. Other clinically significant etiological agents of UTI include Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus species. Annual estimates for the incidence of UTI are ~11 million and ~150 million in the United States and around the world, respectively.
High incidence of UTI coupled with an alarming increase in antibiotic resistant uropathogens underscore the immediate need for development of novel strategies to mitigate UTI. We study the fitness and virulence mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of bacterial UTI to identify novel targets that could be harnessed to develop therapeutic or prevention strategies against this ubiquitous and profoundly painful infectious condition.
We use a combination of bacteriological, biochemical, genetic, and functional genomic approaches, in conjunction with a mouse model, a non-human primate model, and ex vivo and in vitro models to study key aspects of host-uropathogen interaction during UTI.