Urinary tract infection of mice to model human disease: Practicalities, implications and limitations

Alison J. Carey, Chee K. Tan, Deepak S. Ipe, Matthew J. Sullivan, Allan W. Cripps, Mark A. Schembri, Glen C. Ulett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in humans. Murine models of human UTI are vital experimental tools that have helped to elucidate UTI pathogenesis and advance knowledge of potential treatment and infection prevention strategies. Fundamentally, several variables are inherent in different murine models, and understanding the limitations of these variables provides an opportunity to understand how models may be best applied to research aimed at mimicking human disease. In this review, we discuss variables inherent in murine UTI model studies and how these affect model usage, data analysis and data interpretation. We examine recent studies that have elucidated UTI host–pathogen interactions from the perspective of gene expression, and review new studies of biofilm and UTI preventative approaches. We also consider potential standards for variables inherent in murine UTI models and discuss how these might expand the utility of models for mimicking human disease and uncovering new aspects of pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-799
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Issue number5
Early online date26 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal models
  • bacterial pathogenesis
  • Escherichia coli
  • innate immunity
  • urinary tract infection

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