Journal Article

Intracellular persistence of <i>Escherichia coli</i> in urinary bladders from mecillinam-treated mice

M. B. Kerrn, C. Struve, J. Blom, N. Frimodt-Møller and K. A. Krogfelt

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 3, pages 383-386
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Intracellular persistence of Escherichia coli in urinary bladders from mecillinam-treated mice

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Objectives: It has been suggested recently that intracellular bacteria surviving antibiotic treatment might serve as a reservoir for recurrent infection. The purpose of this study was to directly examine the location of Escherichia coli bacteria in the mouse bladder after treatment with mecillinam.

Methods: The bladders were studied by use of colony counts, in situ hybridization and electron microscopy.

Results: The bacterial counts in the bladder remained ∼103–4 cfu/bladder even after mecillinam treatment had finished, and re-growth in the urine was observed. In the bladder epithelium from treated mice, bacteria cells were occasionally seen, presumably representing intracellularly located bacteria.

Conclusions: This is the first in vivo study indicating that during mecillinam treatment E. coli cells can penetrate the mouse bladder epithelium and persist.

Keywords: UTIs; mouse models; antibiotic treatments

Journal Article.  1871 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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