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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Jan;33(1):111-5. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1935-4. Epub 2013 Sep 2.

Escherichia coli biofilm formation and recurrences of urinary tract infections in children.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, Kajaanintie 50, 90029, Oulu, Finland,


It has been suggested that biofilm formation by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) isolates is associated with recurrence and persistence of urinary tract infection (UTI). We compared the in vitro biofilm formation of UPEC isolates from children with acute or recurrent UTI. Employing 206 consecutive clinical UPEC isolates from children with proven UTI, i.e., pyelonephritis (n = 78), recurrent pyelonephritis (n = 10), cystitis (n = 84) or recurrent cystitis (n = 34), we applied 1 % crystal violet staining to polystyrene microtitre plates at 72 h and measured the optical density (OD) values. The method had been validated to measure biofilm formation against confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The OD values were lower in the recurrent cystitis group than in the other groups (mean OD 0.36, SD 0.21 vs mean 0.47, SD 0.36, P = 0.04) and higher in the recurrent pyelonephritis group than in the other groups (mean OD 0.69, SD 0.33 vs mean OD 0.44, SD 0.34, P = 0.006) indicating biofilm formation of strains causing recurrent pyelonephritis. It appears that the properties of UPEC isolates required for effective biofilm growth on an abiotic surface are important for recurrent pyelonephritis, but not for recurrent cystitis. It would be valuable in the future to analyze whether the biofilm properties of E. coli observed in vitro predict a slower clinical response to antimicrobial treatment and increased renal scar formation after UTI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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