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Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015 Aug;6(4):261-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phrp.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Phenotypic Assays to Determine Virulence Factors of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) Isolates and their Correlation with Antibiotic Resistance Pattern.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Urinary tract infection caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains is one of the most important infections in the world. UPEC encode widespread virulence factors closely related with pathogenesis of the bacteria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of different phenotypic virulence markers in UPEC isolates and determine their correlation with antibiotic resistance pattern.


UPEC isolates from patients with different clinical symptoms of UTI were collected and screened for biofilm and hemolysin production, mannose resistant, and mannose sensitive hemagglutination (MRHA and MSHA, respectively). In addition, antimicrobial resistance pattern and ESBL-producing isolates were recorded.


Of the 156 UPEC isolates, biofilm and hemolysin formation was seen in 133 (85.3%) and 53 (34%) isolates, respectively. Moreover, 98 (62.8%) and 58 (37.2%) isolates showed the presence of Types 1 fimbriae (MSHA) and P fimbriae (MRHA), respectively. Our results also showed a relationship between biofilm formation in UPEC isolated from acute cystitis patients and recurrent UTI cases. Occurrence of UTI was dramatically correlated with the patients' profiles. We observed that the difference in antimicrobial susceptibilities of the biofilm and nonbiofilm former isolates was statistically significant. The UPEC isolates showed the highest resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline, amoxicillin, and cotrimoxazole. Moreover, 26.9% of isolates were ESBL producers.


This study indicated that there is a relationship between the phenotypic virulence traits of the UPEC isolates, patients' profiles, and antibiotic resistance. Detection of the phenotypic virulence factors could help to improve understanding of pathogenesis of UPEC isolates and better medical intervention.


antibiotic resistance; patients' profiles; phenotypic virulence traits; urinary tract infection; uropathogenic Escherichia coli

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