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Adaptive strategies in the emergence of lexical systems

Friday, 24 February, 2012 - 16:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Science and Bio-engineering Sciences
Pieter Wellens
phd defence

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections. The
majority of these infections are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). The
increased multi]drug resistance of UPEC has highlighted the need of effective alternative
therapeutic approaches. UPEC express type 1 pili on their bacterial surface, which
contain a FimH adhesin to adhere, colonize and invade bladder cells, consequently
causing a UTI.

In this study, we unravelled the molecular interactions between FimH and its minimal
receptor epitope. Based on the obtained structural data, new soluble receptor
analogues were rationally designed and evaluated on their potential as anti]adhesives to
inhibit the FimH]mediated bacterial attachment of UPEC to the bladder for use as nonantibiotic
treatment and prophylactic agent of UTIs.