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Microbes Infect. 2009 Jan;11(1):100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2008.10.014. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Colonisation dynamics and virulence of two clonal groups of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from dogs.

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School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.


The study established the virulence potential of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli (MDREC) isolates from nosocomial infections in hospitalised dogs. The isolates were resistant to fluoroquinolones, belonged to two distinct clonal groups (CG1 and CG2) and contained a plasmid-mediated AmpC (CMY-7) beta-lactamase. CG1 isolates (n=14) possessed two of 36 assayed extraintestinal virulence genes (iutA and traT) and belonged to phylogenetic group A, whereas CG2 isolates (n=19) contained four such genes (iutA, ibeA, fimH and kpsMT K5) and belonged to group D. In a mouse gastrointestinal tract colonisation model, colonisation by index CG1 strain C1 was transient, in contrast to the index CG2 strain C2b, which persisted up to 40days post-inoculation. In a mouse subcutaneous challenge model, both strains were less virulent than archetypal group B2 extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strain CFT073; strain C1 caused no systemic signs and strain C2b was lethal to only one of six mice. In a mouse urinary tract infection model, strain C2b colonised the mouse bladder over 2 logs higher compared to strain C1. Whilst both groups of canine MDREC appear less virulent than a reference human ExPEC strain, CG2 strains have greater capacity for colonisation and virulence.

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