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J Med Microbiol. 2012 Jun;61(Pt 6):762-5. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.037234-0. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Colicin insensitivity correlates with a higher prevalence of extraintestinal virulence factors among Escherichia coli isolates from skin and soft-tissue infections.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Abstract

Colicins are toxic proteins with a narrow killing spectrum that are produced by colicinogenic Escherichia coli strains. The aim of this study was to analyse systematically whether extra-intestinal virulence potential is linked to colicin (in)sensitivity. In total, 102 well-characterized E. coli isolates from skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) were exposed to 17 single-colicin-producing strains, and the correlation between insensitivity to colicin and phylogenetic group as well as the extra-intestinal virulence potential of the SSTI strains was examined. The results showed that SSTI strains belonging to the B2 phylogenetic group were statistically significantly associated with insensitivity to at least ten colicins, and several colicin insensitivities were correlated with virulence factors. As far as is known, this is the first study to report such correlations.

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