The article leads me to ask if this explains the efficacy of that standard home remedy for preventing urinary tract infections: cranberry juice. Does it contain a cathelicidin mimic or some irritant that (benignly) stimulates cathelicidin secretions?

Gregory Honchul
West Liberty, Ky.

There is evidence that the juice can thwart bladder infections, but the mechanism appears to be in preventing bacteria from binding to cells lining the urinary tract. The microbes then get flushed out. In contrast, the body’s homemade cathelicidins puncture a bacterium’s membrane and kill it, a more direct approach. —N. Seppa