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Ann Stapleton, MD

  • Professor, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine
  • University of Washington
  • Medical Director, Clinical Research Center
  • Institute of Translational Health Sciences

Research in the lab is focused on the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially how probiotic or resident vaginal lactobacilli help protect against these infections and the role of caveolae and glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in UTI. Since the vaginal epithelium is a key staging area for uropathogenic E. coli, which colonize this mucosa and the periurethra prior to causing UTI, one area of investigation is vaginal physiology at baseline and near the time of UTI. We are conducting a clinical study of a probiotic lactobacillus in preventing UTI among healthy pre-menopausal women. Related lab studies include the roles of resident commensal and probiotic lactobacilli in the pathogenesis of UTI, using a model of cultured primary vaginal epithelial cells, also developed in the lab, as well as clinical and probiotic Lactobacillus isolates and clinical measures in the probiotic trial. We are also studying how E. coli invade bladder epithelium via caveolae, using a model of cultured primary bladder epithelium developed in the lab and characterized with respect to GSLs.

Other projects include:

  1. studies of cranberry products as a means of preventing UTI, including in vitro and clinical studies; and
  2. studies of the molecular epidemiology of E. coli virulence determinants in various populations.

We collaborate with several University of Washington colleagues including Drs. Steve Moseley, David Fredricks, Delia Scholes, and Tom Hawn. Outside the University, we work with Drs. Anthony Atala, Wake Forest University; Thomas ("Mac") Hooton, University of Miami; Harry Mobley, University of Michigan; and Soman Abraham, Duke University.


Selected Publications


Hooton TM, Roberts PL, Stapleton AE. Cefpodoxime vs ciprofloxacin for short-course treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis: A randomized trial. JAMA. 2012; 307: 583-9.
PubMed Abstract


Stapleton AE, Dziura D, Hooton TM, et al. Recurrent UTI and urinary E. coli in a randomized controlled trial of cranberry juice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012; 87: 143-50.
PubMed Abstract


Stapleton AE, Au-Yeung M, Hooton TM, et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of a Lactobacillus crispatus probiotic given intravaginally for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2011; 52: 1212-7.
PubMed Abstract


Vigil PD, Stapleton AE, Johnson JR, et al. Presence of putative repeat-in-toxin (RTX) gene tosA of Escherichia coli predicts successful colonization of the urinary tract. mBio. 2011; 2(3). pii: e00066-11. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00066-11.
PubMed Abstract


Spurbeck RR, Stapleton AE, Johnson JR, et al. Fimbrial profiles predict virulence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains: contribution of ygi and yad fimbriae. Infect Immun. 2011; 79: 4753-63.
PubMed Abstract


Chaturvedi KS, Hung CS, Crowley JR,Stapleton AE, Henderson JP. The siderophore yersiniabactin binds copper to protect pathogens during infection. Nat Chem Biol 2012;8:731-6.
PubMed Abstract


Bateman SL, Stapleton AE, Stamm WE, Hooton TM, Seed PC. The type 1 pili regulator gene fimX and pathogenicity island PAI-X as molecular markers of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Microbiology. 2013 Aug;159(Pt 8):1606-17. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.066472-0. Epub 2013 Jun 6.
PubMed Abstract


Hooton TM, Roberts PL, Cox ME, Stapleton AE. Voided midstream urine culture and acute cystitis in premenopausal women. N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 14;369(20):1883-91. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1302186.
PubMed Abstract

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