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J Clin Microbiol. May 1992; 30(5): 1189–1193.
PMCID: PMC265248

Rapid and specific detection of the pap, afa, and sfa adhesin-encoding operons in uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains by polymerase chain reaction.

Abstract

Adhesin-encoding operons (pap, sfa/foc, and afa) have been shown to be prevalent in Escherichia coli strains associated with urinary tract infections. A quick and sensitive assay to identify these operons was developed by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three pairs of 25-mer primers were defined from the sequences of the DNA fragments used as probes in hybridization studies to identify each of the three operons, and the six primers were used together in a single reaction of amplification. To validate the PCR approach for detection of adhesin-encoding operons among clinical isolates, we investigated a collection of 97 E. coli isolates with the following characteristics: all isolates originated from the urine of patients with pyelonephritis, and the adhesin responsible for specific binding of the isolates to uroepithelial cells was previously characterized by phenotypic assays, as well as genotypic tests based on hybridization. There was a perfect correlation between the results obtained with the PCR approach and those previously obtained by using DNA probes. These results indicate that the PCR method, which is highly specific and easier to perform than the hybridization method, is a powerful genotypic assay for detection of adhesin-encoding operons. Thus, this assay can be recommended for clinical use to detect virulent urinary E. coli strains, as well as for epidemiological studies.

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Selected References

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