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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2013 Jun-Jul;31(6):385-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Escherichia coli O25b:H4/ST131 are prevalent in Spain and are often not associated with ESBL or quinolone resistance.

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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Unit, University Hospital Virgen Macarena, Sevilla, Spain.



A multiresistant CTX-M-15-producing clonal group of Escherichia coli isolates, namely O25b:H4/ST131, has recently emerged in three continents. At this moment, appropriate studies to assess the real prevalence of this successful lineage are still scarce.


In a prospective study in the south of Spain, among all clinical E. coli isolates recovered in Seville during a 30 week period in 2010, ST131 was screened by using PCR for O25b/pabB3/B23 traits. ESBL enzymes were characterized by PCR and sequencing. Genetic relatedness was performed by XbaI PFGE.


This clonal group was found to be prevalent (12.5% of all E. coli isolates), and only 37 (6.8% of ST131 isolates) were ESBL producers. Among 25 characterized ESBL-producing ST131 isolates, 96% harbored CTX-M-15. ST131 isolates were more frequently resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanate, aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones in both ESBL and non-ESBL producers groups. XbaI PFGE performed on 88 ST131 isolates showed three pulsotypes, which included ≥4 isolates each (25% of all typed ST131 isolates), and 11 pulsotypes, which contained 2-3 isolates each. Three of 14 pulsotypes of this clonal group included both nalidixic acid-resistant and susceptible isolates, and five pulsotypes included both ESBL and non-ESBL producers.


Our findings suggest that O25b/ST131 is a prevalent clone in our area, and the observed prevalence of ESBL-producers within this clone is similar to that found in the total isolates of this species. Certain pulsotypes among ST131 clone that showed a greater expansion, and ESBL genes acquisition or quinolone resistance could explain part of this prevalence.

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