Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Vaccine for Urinary Tract Infections

Technology #3550

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Harry Mobley
Managed By
Ed Pagani
Associate Director, Health Technologies 734-763-3558
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending
Defining genomic islands and uropathogen-specific genes in uropathogenic Escherichia coli
J Bacteriol, Volume 189. Page 3532. 2007
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli outer membrane antigens expressed during urinary tract infection
Infect Immun, Volume 75. Page 3941. 2007

UM File # 3550

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infectious diseases and afflicts over half of the female population at least once in their lifetime - this accounts for approximately 11.3 million annual cases in the United States alone. Over 80% of community-acquired UTIs result from uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC and if left untreated can result in severe complications (e.g. pyelonephritis and bacteremia). Various studies have sought to identify virulence-associated factors in UPEC in hopes to develop a vaccine for protection from UTIs. To date these efforts have had limited success and no UTI vaccine has been developed. There is a pressing need to identify more antigens to advance the development of a vaccine.
Technology Description
Researchers at the University of Michigan have utilized an immunoproteomics approach to screen for proteins that would serve as candidates for the development of a UTI vaccine. Proteins that elicit a humoral response against immunoreactive antisera from chronically infected mice were identified for the first time. These proteins (iron-regulated gene homolog adhesin (Iha), iron-responsive element (IreA) and novel heme binding protein (c2482)) are expressed in the outer membrane of UPEC at the time of infection but not in other strains of E. coli. Pilot studies have demonstrated that immunization with these outer membrane antigens is promising for protection for UTI infections in mice.

Applications • Development of a vaccine for prevention of UTI. • Development of vaccine for protection for other UPEC related infections.
Advantages • Higher specificity since these antigens are specific to UPEC strains as opposed to previously reported virulence factors that are also present in non-UPEC strains. • Preventive approach through immunization for disease that affects a wide range of individuals.