For several decades, scientists have been attempting to develop a vaccine for the common UTI.
The only problem is, that UTIs are caused by more than one type of bacteria and there are many risk factors for developing UTIs. UITs affect more than 50% of women at least once in their lives. This leads to a lot of medical costs, lost work days and emergency room visits.
Escherchia coli (E. coli) is the most common pathogen leading to UTIs. There are many types of E coli that exist. Certain bacteria express certain proteins that act as anchors that allow them to easily attach to urogenital mucosa and creep into the urethra and bladder. Recently, researchers at Univ. Michigan developed a vaccine against E coli using certain iron receptors on the bacteria against which the patient’s immune system can react. The vaccine is administered in the nose and is currently in phase 1 trials.