PapG-dependent adherence breaks mucosal inertia and triggers the innate host response

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mucosal pathogens differ from normal flora constituents in that they provoke a host response that upsets mucosal integrity. We investigated whether the elaboration of discrete adherence factors is sufficient to break the inertia of the mucosal barrier. PapG-mediated adherence was selected as an example, because P fimbrial expression characterizes uropathogenic Escherichia coli and because adherence starts the attack on the mucosal barrier. Patients were inoculated intravesically with transformed nonvirulent E. coli strains expressing functional P fimbriae (E. coli pap(+)) or mutant fimbriae lacking the adhesin (E. coli DeltapapG). E. coli pap(+) was shown to activate the innate host response, and adherent gfp(+) bacteria were observed on excreted uroepithelial cells. E. coli DeltapapG failed to trigger a response and was nonadhesive. We conclude that PapG-mediated adherence breaks mucosal inertia in the human urinary tract by triggering innate immunity and propose that this activation step differentiates asymptomatic carriage from infection.


  • Göran Bergsten
  • Martin Samuelsson
  • Björn Wullt
  • Irene Leijonhufvud
  • Hans Fischer
  • Catharina Svanborg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1734-1742
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch