What is the role of urease production in the pathogenesis of Proteus infections?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: Shirin A Mazumder, MD, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The attachment of Proteus species to uroepithelial cells initiates several events in the mucosal endothelial cells, including secretion of interleukin 6 and interleukin 8. Proteus organisms also induce apoptosis and epithelial cell desquamation. Bacterial production of urease has also been shown to increase the risk of pyelonephritis in experimental animals. Urease production, together with the presence of bacterial motility and fimbriae, may favor the production of upper urinary tract infections (UTIs) by organisms such as Proteus.


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