Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33055280
Link to DOI – 10.4049/jimmunol.2000587
J Immunol 2020 11; 205(10): 2763-2777
Bacterial prostatitis affects 1% of men, with increased incidence in the elderly. Acute bacterial prostatitis frequently progresses to chronicity, marked by recurrent episodes interspersed with asymptomatic periods of variable duration. Antibiotic treatment is standard of care; however, dissemination of antimicrobially resistant uropathogens threatens therapy efficacy. Thus, development of nonantibiotic-based approaches to treat chronic disease is a priority. Currently, why chronic prostatitis arises is unclear, as the immune response to prostate infection is incompletely understood. As 80% of prostatitis cases are caused by Gram-negative uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) or Gram-positive Enterococcus faecalis, we used a mouse transurethral instillation model to address the hypothesis that an innate immune response fails to develop following prostate infection with these uropathogens, leading to chronic disease. Surprisingly, infection induced robust proinflammatory cytokine expression and myeloid cell infiltration. Following a second infection, cytokine responses and innate cell infiltration were largely comparable to primary infection. Characteristic of memory responses, more lymphoid cells infiltrated the prostate in a second infection compared with a first, suggesting that adaptive immunity develops to eliminate the pathogens. Unexpectedly, bacterial burden in prostates challenged with either UPEC or E. faecalis was equal or greater than primary infection despite that a protective adaptive response to UPEC infection was evident in the bladder of the same animals. Our findings support that chronic or recurrent prostatitis develops despite strong innate immune responses and may be the result of a failure to develop immune memory to infection, pointing to actionable targets for immunotherapy.