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J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 1;186(7):1039-42. Epub 2002 Sep 13.

Are quinolone-resistant uropathogenic Escherichia coli less virulent?

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Servei de Microbiologia, Instiutu Clinic Infeccions i Immunologia, Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


The prevalence of hemolysin, type 1 fimbriae, P fimbriae, cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 (CNF-1), aerobactin, and autotransporter toxin (sat) was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction and phenotypic assays of 42 epidemiologically unrelated Escherichia coli strains causing acute pyelonephritis in women (21 nalidixic acid-susceptible and 21 nalidixic acid-resistant strains) and 58 E. coli strains causing cystitis in women (29 nalidixic acid-susceptible and 29 nalidixic acid-resistant strains). Hemolysin and CNF-1 were less prevalent (P<.05) in nalidixic acid-resistant than in nalidixic acid-susceptible E. coli strains from patients with either pyelonephritis (14.3% vs. 52.4%) or cystitis (0% vs. 31.0%). Among E. coli strains causing cystitis, type 1 fimbriae expression was less prevalent (P<.05) in the nalidixic acid-resistant group (55.2%) than in the nalidixic acid-susceptible group (86.2%). None of the nalidixic acid-resistant and 20.7% of the nalidixic acid-susceptible strains causing cystitis showed the proteolytic toxin Sat (P<.05). These results suggest that resistance to quinolones may be associated with a decrease in the presence or the expression of some virulence factors in uropathogenic E. coli.

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