Virulence and Fitness Determinants of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Academic Article uri icon


  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a major global public health concern. Increasing antibiotic resistance found in clinical UPEC isolates underscores the immediate need for development of novel therapeutics against this pathogen. Better understanding of the fitness and virulence mechanisms that are integral to the pathogenesis of UTI will facilitate identification of novel strategies to prevent and treat infection with UPEC. Working towards that goal, the global UPEC research community has made great strides at unraveling various virulence and fitness genes. Here, we summarize major findings on virulence and fitness determinants that enable UPEC to successfully survive and colonize the urinary tract of mammalian hosts. Major sections of this chapter are devoted to the role of iron acquisition systems, metabolic pathways, fimbriae, flagella, toxins, biofilm formation, capsule, and strain-specific genes in the initiation and progression of UTIs. Transcriptomes of UPEC during experimental UTI in a murine model and naturally occurring UTI in women are compared to elucidate virulence mechanisms specifically involved in human UTI. Capitalizing on the advances in molecular pathogenesis research by translating these findings will help develop better clinical strategies for prevention and management of UTIs.

published proceedings

  • Microbiol Spectr

altmetric score

  • 7.516

author list (cited authors)

  • Subashchandrabose, S., & Mobley, H.

citation count

  • 156

complete list of authors

  • Subashchandrabose, Sargurunathan||Mobley, Harry LT

editor list (cited editors)

  • Mulvey, M. A., Stapleton, A. E., & Klumpp, D. J.

publication date

  • August 2015