Researchers in Sweden and the United States have collaborated to produce the first three-dimensional snapshots of key steps in Escherichia coli infection of the bladder and kidney.
The focus of their work was examining how pili, the sticky hairs that allow E coli and other bacteria to cling to tissue, are formed and transported to the bacterial cell surface. Without pili, bacteria are swept away by such bodily fluids as urine and are unable to cause infection.
Voelker R. Picture This. JAMA. 1999;282(10):933. doi:10.1001/jama.282.10.933-JWM90007-3-1