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Ann Afr Med. 2019 Jul-Sep;18(3):138-142. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_49_18.

Outcome of acute urinary tract infections caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli with phenotypically demonstrable virulence factors.

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Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India.
Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India.


in English, French


Urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains is one of the most important community-acquired infections in the world. The presence of virulence factors is closely related with the pathogenesis of UTI.


The present study was conducted on 150 isolates of UPEC obtained from symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of UTIs with significant counts (≥105 CFU/ml) during 1 year. UPEC isolates were studied for hemolysis on 5% sheep blood agar, mannose-sensitive hemagglutination (MSHA), mannose-resistant hemagglutination (MRHA), and biofilm formation by recommended methods. Patients with UTI due to UPEC showing virulence factors were evaluated for the treatment received and the outcome of treatment. These were compared with the outcomes of patients whose culture samples grew UPEC without demonstrable virulence factors.


The study showed hemolysin production in 40% of the isolates. Forty percent of the isolates showed the presence of P fimbriae (MRHA) and 60% showed Type 1 fimbriae (MSHA). Biofilm formation capacity of all UPEC isolates was classified into three categories, strong biofilm producers (4%), moderate biofilm producers (88%), and nonbiofilm producers (8%). Patients harboring all three virulence factors showed 76% recovery compared to patients harboring strains with no demonstrable virulence factors, who showed 100% recovery.


The present study has shown the production of various virulent factors and developing drug resistance in UPEC. Treatment outcomes of patients harboring strains with no virulence factors seem to be better than the ones which contain multiple virulence factors. UPEC occurs because of multiple virulence factors. Biofilm formation and MRHA are more likely to be seen in catheterized patients. The drug resistance among UPEC is on rise; therefore, the selection of appropriate antibiotics (after antibiotic susceptibility testing) is must for proper treatment of patients and to avoid emergence of drug resistance. Significant number of the UPEC isolates was sensitive to nitrofurantoin, and half of the isolates were sensitive to cotrimoxazole, so treatment is by giving these drugs orally.


Biofilm detection; urinary tract infection; uropathogenic Escherichia coli; virulence factors

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