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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Jan;29(1):15-23. doi: 10.1007/s10096-009-0809-2. Epub 2009 Sep 8.

Genetic relatedness and virulence gene profiles of Escherichia coli strains isolated from septicaemic and uroseptic patients.

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Faculty of Science, Health and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, DC, Queensland, Australia.


We investigated the relationship between clonality and virulence factors (VFs) of a collection of Escherichia coli strains isolated from septicaemic and uroseptic patients with respect to their origin of translocation. Forty septicaemic and 30 uroseptic strains of E. coli were tested for their phylogenetic groupings, genetic relatedness using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), biochemical fingerprinting method (biochemical phenotypes [BPTs]), adherence to HT-29 cells and the presence of 56 E. coli VF genes. Strains belonging to phylogenetic groups B2 and D constituted 93% of all strains. Fifty-four (77%) strains belonged to two major BPT/RAPD clusters (A and B), with cluster A carrying significantly (P = 0.0099) more uroseptic strains. The degree of adhesion to HT-29 cells of uroseptic strains was significantly (P = 0.0012) greater than that of septicaemic strains. Of the 56 VF genes tested, pap genes was the only group that were found significantly (P < 0.0001) more often among uroseptic isolates. Phylogenetic group B2 contained a significantly higher number of strains carrying pap genes than those in group D. We conclude that uroseptic E. coli are clonally different from septicaemic strains, carry more pap genes and predominantly adhere more to the HT-29 cell model of the gut.

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