Progress Made Toward Vaccine for Urinary Infections

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections shows early promise in tests on mice, according to University of Michigan researchers.

For two decades, researchers have been trying to develop a vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections, which afflict about 53 percent of women and 14 percent of men at least once in their lives, according to background information in a university news release.

The researchers screened more than 5,000 bacterial proteins and identified three strong candidates to use in a vaccine to fight Escherichia coli, the cause of most uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

The new vaccine, administered in the nose, alerts the immune system to iron receptors on the surface of bacteria that play a major role in the spread of urinary tract infection. When tested in mice, the vaccine prevented infection and produced key types of immunity.

The study appears Sept. 18 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Each year in the United States, urinary tract infections lead to a large number of lost work days, 6.8 million medical office visits, 1.3 million emergency room visits and 245,000 hospitalizations, resulting in an estimated total annual cost of $2.4 billion, according to information from the university.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about urinary tract infection.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Sept. 17, 2009

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