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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 21;7(1):12103. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12015-0.

Whole genome sequencing, molecular typing and in vivo virulence of OXA-48-producing Escherichia coli isolates including ST131 H30-Rx, H22 and H41 subclones.

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Plataforma de Genómica y Bioinformática, Centro de Investigación Biomédica de La Rioja (CIBIR), Logroño, Spain.
Departamento de Biología Funcional, Área de Microbiología, Universidad de Oviedo (UO), Oviedo, Spain.
Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Spain.
Laboratorio de Referencia de Escherichia coli (LREC), Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxía, Facultade de Veterinaria, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Lugo, Spain.
Departamento de Biología Molecular and Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria (IBBTEC), Universidad de Cantabria-CSIC, Santander, Spain.
Departamento de Biología Funcional, Área de Microbiología, Universidad de Oviedo (UO), Oviedo, Spain.


Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, including the increasingly reported OXA-48 Escherichia coli producers, are an emerging public health threat worldwide. Due to their alarming detection in our healthcare setting and their possible presence in the community, seven OXA-48-producing, extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli were analysed by whole genome sequencing as well as conventional tools, and tested for in vivo virulence. As a result, five E. coli OXA-48-producing subclones were detected (O25:H4-ST131/PST43-fimH30-virotype E; O25:H4-ST131/PST9-fimH22-virotype D5, O16:H5-ST131/PST506-fimH41; O25:H5-ST83/PST207 and O9:H25-ST58/PST24). Four ST131 and one ST83 isolates satisfied the ExPEC status, and all except the O16:H5 ST131 isolate were UPEC. All isolates exhibited local inflammatory response with extensive subcutaneous necrosis but low lethality when tested in a mouse sepsis model. The bla OXA-48 gene was located in MOBP131/IncL plasmids (four isolates) or within the chromosome (three ST131 H30-Rx isolates), carried by Tn1999-like elements. All, except the ST83 isolate, were multidrug-resistant, with additional plasmids acting as vehicles for the spread of various resistance genes. This is the first study to analyse the whole genome sequences of bla OXA-48-positive ST131, ST58 and ST83 E. coli isolates in conjunction with experimental data, and to evaluate the in vivo virulence of bla OXA-48 isolates, which pose an important challenge to patient management.

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