Serum and urinary immunoglobulin concentrations were determined in mice with experimental Escherichia coli pyelonephritis; and the results compared to those present in appropriate control animals. A significant increase in serum IgG and IgM concentrations was observed in animals with proven pyelonephritis at four weeks after bladder inoculation. This increase reflected in part an IgG antibody response to E. coli which did not appear to be protective. No significant increase of urinary immunoglobulin concentrations, including secretory IgA levels, was detected. Specific antibody to E. coli was not demonstrated in the urines or kidney eluates from the infected or control groups. The results suggest that antibodies within the urinary tract play only a limited protective role in ascending pyelonephritis of mice. These observations might explain the failure of local immunization in protecting mice against ascending E. coli urinary tract infection.

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