The Mobley laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. We are studying virulence mechanisms of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis that cause urinary tract infection (UTI) and Gram-negative enteric bacterial species (E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Citrobacter freundii, Serratia marcescens, Enterobacter cloacae, and Acinetobacter baumannii) that cause bacteremia.

The urinary tract is susceptible to infection by bacteria. Indeed, urinary tract infection is one of the most common bacterial infections of humans. The most common bacterium that infects the urinary tract of otherwise healthy individuals is Escherichia coli. On the other hand, in patients who have urinary catheters in place or structural abnormalities of the urinary tract, Proteus mirabilis often infects the bladder and causes stones to form there.

Uropathogens contaminate the periurethral area, ascend the urethra to colonize the bladder, ascend the ureters to the kidneys, and, in some cases, break into the bloodstream. We are interested in all stages of these infections.

Swarming of Proteus mirabilis

Southern blot indicating random insertion of transposons in KPPR1 Klebsiella pneumoniae.