Role of Klebsiella pneumoniae type 1 and type 3 fimbriae in colonizing silicone tubes implanted into the bladders of mice as a model of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are biofilm-mediated infections that cause a significant economic and health burden in nosocomial environments. Using a newly developed murine model of this type of infection, we investigated the role of fimbriae in implant-associated urinary tract infections by the Gram-negative bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, which is a proficient biofilm former and a commonly isolated nosocomial pathogen. Studies have shown that type 1 and type 3 fimbriae are involved in attachment and biofilm formation in vitro, and these fimbrial types are suspected to be important virulence factors during infection. To test this hypothesis, the virulence of fimbrial mutants was assessed in independent challenges in which mouse bladders were inoculated with the wild type or a fimbrial mutant and in coinfection studies in which the wild type and fimbrial mutants were inoculated together to assess the results of a direct competition in the urinary tract. Using these experiments, we were able to show that both fimbrial types serve to enhance colonization and persistence. Additionally, a double mutant had an additive colonization defect under some conditions, indicating that both fimbrial types have unique roles in the attachment and persistence in the bladder and on the implant itself. All of these mutants were outcompeted by the wild type in coinfection experiments. Using these methods, we are able to show that type 1 and type 3 fimbriae are important colonization factors in the murine urinary tract when an implanted silicone tube is present.
Published In/Presented At
Murphy, C. N., Mortensen, M. S., Krogfelt, K. A., & Clegg, S. (2013). Role of Klebsiella pneumoniae type 1 and type 3 fimbriae in colonizing silicone tubes implanted into the bladders of mice as a model of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Infection and immunity, 81(8), 3009–3017. https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00348-13
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine