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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 9;8(4):e61169. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061169. Print 2013.

Comparison of adhesin genes and antimicrobial susceptibilities between uropathogenic and intestinal commensal Escherichia coli strains.

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Huashan Hospital and Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology of the Ministries of Education and Health, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


The presence of adhesins is arguably an important determinant of pathogenicity for Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Antimicrobial susceptibilities were tested by agar dilution method, fifteen adhesin genes were detected by polymerase chain reaction, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was analyzed in 70 UPEC isolates and 41 commensal E. coli strains. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) was determined with confirmatory test. The prevalence of ESBL-producers in UPEC (53%, 37/70) was higher than the commensal intestinal isolates (7%, 3/41), and 97% (36/37) of the ESBL-producing UPEC harbored bla CTX-M genes. afa was present in 36% (10/28) UPEC isolates from recurrent lower urinary tract infection (UTI), and none in the acute pyelonephritis, acute uncomplicated cystitis or commensal strains (P<0.0001). papG was detected in 28% (20/70) of UPEC isolates, while 5% (2/41) of the commensal strains were papG positive (P = 0.0025), and the prevalence of papG was significantly higher in acute pyelonephritis group (71%) than the other two UTI groups (P<0.0001). The prevalence of flu, yqi, yadN and ygiL was significantly higher in UPEC isolates than in the commensal strains. ESBL-producing UPEC showed a lower prevalence of adhesin genes compared with non-ESBL-producing strains. The MLST profiles were different between UPEC and commensal strains, with ST131 (19%, 13/70) and ST10 (20%, 8/41) being the most common MLSTs, respectively. This study demonstrated that several adhesin genes were more prevalent in UPEC isolates than in commensal E. coli, and afa may be associated with recurrent lower UTI whereas papG is more frequently associated with acute pyelonephritis.

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