Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are primarily caused by uropathogenic
(UPEC), and 1 in 40 women experience chronic UTIs during their lifetime. The antibiotic courses required to treat infections promote antibiotic resistance, and current vaccine options offer limited protection. We have pioneered a strategy using small iron-chelating compounds called siderophores as vaccine antigens. These siderophores are not produced by commensal bacteria and are required for UTI. The siderophore vaccines reported here are easy to formulate and reduce bacterial burdens in a murine model of UTI. This report highlights the untapped resource of bacteria-specific small molecules as potential vaccine antigens and provides a proof of principle for incorporating these compounds into multicomponent vaccines for the prevention of bacterial infections.