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Open Access Short Report

Tamm-Horsfall protein facilitates catheter associated urinary tract infection

Hajamohideen S Raffi1, James M Bates1, Dayl J Flournoy2 and Satish Kumar1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine/Nephrology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 920 SL Young Blvd., WP 2250, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

2 Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:532  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-532

Published: 26 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Urinary catheters are associated, commonly with bacteriuria and frequently with urinary tract infection. Tamm-Horsfall Protein (THP) is urine's most abundant protein and is known to bind to uropathogenic bacteria. The role of THP in the pathogenesis of catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is not clear. We examined the role of THP in facilitating bacterial binding to urinary catheters in vivo and in vitro.

Findings

Twenty one urinary catheters were obtained from 20 hospitalized patients. THP was eluted from the catheter surface and catheter segments were cultured. Additional studies were performed in vitro on unused silicone and latex catheters to determine the binding of THP, and the effect of THP on the binding of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), to the catheter surface.

On catheters obtained from patients, the THP deposition was significantly more on culture positive catheters than on culture negative catheters. In the in vitro studies, THP bound to both silicone and latex catheters, and THP enhanced the adherence of E. coli and P. aeruginosa to both types of catheters.

Conclusion

THP binds to urinary catheters and facilitates the binding of uropathogenic bacteria to catheters.

Keywords:
Tamm-Horsfall protein; Urinary catheters; Bacterial binding