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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 7;9(2):e88374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088374. eCollection 2014.

Phenotypic microarrays suggest Escherichia coli ST131 is not a metabolically distinct lineage of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli.

Author information

Pathogen Research Group, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom ; Advanced Data Analysis Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Department of Bacteriology, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, United Kingdom ; School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom.


Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) are the major aetiological agent of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans. The emergence of the CTX-M producing clone E. coli ST131 represents a major challenge to public health worldwide. A recent study on the metabolic potential of E. coli isolates demonstrated an association between the E. coli ST131 clone and enhanced utilisation of a panel of metabolic substrates. The studies presented here investigated the metabolic potential of ST131 and other major ExPEC ST isolates using 120 API test reagents and found that ST131 isolates demonstrated a lower metabolic activity for 5 of 120 biochemical tests in comparison to non-ST131 ExPEC isolates. Furthermore, comparative phenotypic microarray analysis showed a lack of specific metabolic profile for ST131 isolates countering the suggestion that these bacteria are metabolically fitter and therefore more successful human pathogens.

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