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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Oct;14(10):1575-83. doi: 10.3201/eid1410.080102.

Endemic and epidemic lineages of Escherichia coli that cause urinary tract infections.

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Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Women with urinary tract infections (UTIs) in California, USA (1999-2001), were infected with closely related or indistinguishable strains of Escherichia coli (clonal groups), which suggests point source dissemination. We compared strains of UTI-causing E. coli in California with strains causing such infections in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Urine specimens from women with community-acquired UTIs in Montréal (2006) were cultured for E. coli. Isolates that caused 256 consecutive episodes of UTI were characterized by antimicrobial drug susceptibility profile, enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus 2 PCR, serotyping, XbaI and NotI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, and phylogenetic typing. We confirmed the presence of drug-resistant, genetically related, and temporally clustered E. coli clonal groups that caused community-acquired UTIs in unrelated women in 2 locations and 2 different times. Two clonal groups were identified in both locations. Epidemic transmission followed by endemic transmission of UTI-causing clonal groups may explain these clusters of UTI cases.

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