Despite recent extensive study, the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections remains unclear. Experimental evidence suggests, however, that deficient host resistance might explain the ease with which these infections are acquired and maintained by certain patients. The present study was designed to investigate this hypothesis further by exploring the role of one of the possible protective mechanisms, namely "O" bacterial antibodies, in the pathogenesis of coliform urinary tract infections in human subjects. Our objective was to answer two fundamental questions: (1) Do infections of the urinary tract stimulate the production of serum "O" antibodies? (2) Does the presence or absence of these antibodies correlate with the clinical manifestations and course? For this purpose, the serum "O" antibody response and the occurrence of signs and symptoms were determined during the inception and course of clinical infections in a group of women selected primarily from patients in the Prenatal Clinic of the University
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