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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;31(6):1211-7. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1431-7. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Persistence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains in the host for long periods of time: relationship between phylogenetic groups and virulence factors.

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  • 1Laboratório de Microbiologia, Centro de Estudos de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003, Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

Escherichia coli cause the majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Virulence plays an important role in the initial stages of interaction with the host, facilitating colonization of the urinary tract tissue. The purpose of this study was to assess whether there is a relationship between virulence and antibiotic resistance in the persistence of uropathogenic E. coli strains. This study included five patients with UTI between 2001 and 2009. The antibiotic resistance phenotype of 29 E. coli isolates was determined by the disk diffusion method. Clonal relationship was determined through M13 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fingerprinting. Phylogeny, virulence factors, β-lactamases, and replicon typing were studied through PCR. Antibiogram profiles were found from different patients and corresponded to CTX-M-2, CTX-M-15, CTX-M-32, and TEM-52 enzymes. Plasmids belonged essentially to incompatibility group IncF. No clonal relationship was observed among isolates from different patients, except for patients 4 and 5. Phylogenetic group A was predominant. Our work showed that commensal group A possesses the same virulence factors as the pathogenic groups B1 and D. E. coli common pilus and type 1 fimbriae could play an important role in the persistence in the host and in symptomatic UTI, respectively, which, combined with extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), are a cause of the dissemination of microorganisms in the hospital and the community.

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