Endogenous antibiotics protect against bladder infections
According to a Swedish study, the human immune system also adheres to the motto "attack is the best defense" when the urinary tract is infected: As Annelie Brauner and her team from the Karolinska Institute report, the body reacts to urinary tract infections or bladder infections itself produced antibiotics.
It's a special peptide called LL-37 that the study says can protect against bacterial invasion in this area. Brauner and her colleagues got on the trail of this homemade antibiotic by examining urine samples from children with and without urinary tract infections. Through measurements, they were able to prove that the LL-37 level is significantly higher than normal in infections.
In experiments with cultures of human kidney and bladder cells, it was also observed that this peptide is produced in the epithelial cells and released in increased amounts just a few minutes after a bacterial invasion. Further experiments with mice confirmed these results. Animals lacking the gene for the production of the mouse variant of LL-37 were found to be significantly more susceptible to urinary tract infections. These were also significantly more difficult for them and were often associated with swelling of the kidneys. This discovery not only documents an extremely rare protective mechanism, but is also of interest for the development of new strategies against bacteria that have already developed resistance to conventional antibiotics, explains the researcher.