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Plasmid. 2010 Jan;63(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2009.10.003. Epub 2009 Nov 1.

Complete sequence of pEC14_114, a highly conserved IncFIB/FIIA plasmid associated with uropathogenic Escherichia coli cystitis strains.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are known to cause important diseases of humans and animals, and they have been shown to carry a variety of plasmids associated with increased virulence and decreased antimicrobial susceptibility. Here, the completed DNA sequence of a human uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC; O6:H31 isolate) plasmid, pEC14_114, was determined. The plasmid was 114,222bp in length and was highly similar to plasmid sequences or draft contiguous sequences from three other human cystitis-associated UPEC isolates. pEC14_114 contained 141 coding regions, including a number of genes associated with mobile genetic elements, F-type transfer, plasmid maintenance and stability, colicin immunity, and plasmid replication. This plasmid also possessed a "genetic load" region containing genes with predicted similarity to iron acquisition systems and virulence factors. The prevalence of pEC14-associated genes was determined for a collection of 1456 E. coli isolates, including those from food products, humans, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. pEC14_114-associated genes were found significantly more often (16-35%) among human UPEC and neonatal meningitis-associated isolates than among food- and animal-source isolates (0-8%). Overall, this plasmid represents a novel IncFIB/FIIA plasmid type associated with human ExPEC belonging to the B2 phylogenetic group. The overall role of this plasmid, if any, in human ExPEC infections remains to be determined.

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