, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1139-1149

The innate immune response during urinary tract infection and pyelonephritis

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Abstract

Despite its proximity to the fecal flora, the urinary tract is considered sterile. The precise mechanisms by which the urinary tract maintains sterility are not well understood. Host immune responses are critically important in the antimicrobial defense of the urinary tract. During recent years, considerable advances have been made in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying immune homeostasis of the kidney and urinary tract. Dysfunctions in these immune mechanisms may result in acute disease, tissue destruction and overwhelming infection. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the innate immune response in the urinary tract in response to microbial assault. In doing so, we focus on the role of antimicrobial peptides—a ubiquitous component of the innate immune response.