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J Hosp Infect. 1995 Dec;31(4):295-304.

A comparative study of nosocomial and community-acquired strains of Escherichia coli causing bacteraemia in a Danish University Hospital.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


In a previous study we found a considerably higher mortality rate in patients with nosocomial (NO) compared with community-acquired (CA) Escherichia coli bacteraemia. To establish whether this was due to host differences or to differences in the infecting bacteria, we compared 205 NO with 172 CA bacteraemic isolates of E. coli with respect to serotype, virulence factors and antimicrobial susceptibility. Overall the six most frequent O antigens were O18ac, O6, O1, O2, O15 and O75, respectively. The six most frequent capsular antigens were K1, K5, K52, K2, K7 and K34, respectively. No major differences were found regarding O-antigens, capsular antigens, production of haemolysin, P-fimbriation, serum sensitivity or antimicrobial susceptibility. Surprisingly we found 17 strains of serotype O15:K52:[H1] of both NO (eight) and CA (nine) origin with similar phenotypic characteristics to a strain causing a CA outbreak in London 1986-1987. Possibly the Danish and the English strains belong to the same clone. Our findings argue against the existence of a distinct NO flora. NO E. coli bacteraemia strains seem to originate primarily from the patients' own flora.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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