D-Mannose treatment neither affects uropathogenic Escherichia coli properties nor induces stable FimH modifications

Daniela Scribano, Meysam Sarshar, Carla Prezioso, Marco Lucarelli, Antonio Angeloni, Carlo Zagaglia, Anna Teresa Palamara, Cecilia Ambrosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are mainly caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Acute and recurrent UTIs are commonly treated with antibiotics, the efficacy of which is limited by the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains. The natural sugar d-mannose is considered as an alternative to antibiotics due to its ability to mask the bacterial adhesin FimH, thereby preventing its binding to urothelial cells. Despite its extensive use, the possibility that d-mannose exerts “antibiotic-like” activity by altering bacterial growth and metabolism or selecting FimH variants has not been investigated yet. To this aim, main bacterial features of the prototype UPEC strain CFT073 treated with d-mannose were analyzed by standard microbiological methods. FimH functionality was analyzed by yeast agglutination and human bladder cell adhesion assays. Our results indicate that high d-mannose concentrations have no effect on bacterial growth and do not interfere with the activity of different antibiotics. d-mannose ranked as the least preferred carbon source to support bacterial metabolism and growth, in comparison with d-glucose, d-fructose, and l-arabinose. Since small glucose amounts are physiologically detectable in urine, we can conclude that the presence of d-mannose is irrelevant for bacterial metabolism. Moreover, d-mannose removal after long-term exposure did not alter FimH’s capacity to bind to mannosylated proteins. Overall, our data indicate that d-mannose is a good alternative in the prevention and treatment of UPEC-related UTIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bacterial sugar metabolism
  • CFT073
  • D-mannose
  • FimH
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Uropathogenic E. coli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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