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Characterization of antibiotic-susceptibility patterns and virulence genes of five major sequence types of Escherichia coli isolates cultured from extraintestinal specimens: a 1-year surveillance study from Iran

Authors Hojabri Z, Mirmohammadkhani M, Darabi N, Arab M, Pajand O

Received 31 December 2018

Accepted for publication 13 February 2019

Published 17 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 893—903


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Joachim Wink

Zoya Hojabri,1 Majid Mirmohammadkhani,2 Narges Darabi,1 Maedeh Arab,3 Omid Pajand1,2

1Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran; 2Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran; 3Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

Objectives: Escherichia coli sequence types (STs) 69, 73, 95, 127, and 131 are major STs frequently causing extraintestinal infections. The prevalence of specific clones and their virulence and resistance profiles has not been described from Iran. The aim of this study was to characterize antimicrobial-susceptibility profiles and virulence traits of five major clones of E. coli recovered from human extraintestinal infections in Semnan, Iran. We compared these traits between major ST clones and also between O25b and O16 subgroups of the ST131 clone.
Methods: We characterized the five major ST clones among 335 collected E. coli isolates obtained from extraintestinal infections, and phylogenetic groups, antimicrobial susceptibility, and virulence/resistance-gene profiles of these major STs were studied.
Results: The highest rates of the multidrug-resistance phenotype were detected among ST131 (85.7%) and ST69 (41.7%), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole resistance was detected significantly among the latter clone. Of the 151 isolates belonging to major ST clones, blaOXA-48 was detected among all except the ST127 clone, while blaNDM genes were harbored by 14 (9.2%) isolates, which all belonged to the ST131 clone. Aggregate virulence scores (median) of ST131 isolates (11) were slightly higher than ST69 (8.50) strains, but were lower than ST73 (16), ST95 (16), and ST127 (12.50) isolates. Principal-coordinate analysis revealed distinct virulence profiles with the ST131 clone. ST73, ST95 and ST131 were enriched with “urovirulence” traits, including phylogroup B2 and group B2-associated accessory traits (chuA, iutA, yfcV, papGII, usp, kpsMTII and malX) and the derived variables extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli and uropathogenic E. coli. In contrast, ST69 was depleted of these traits, but enriched with phylogroups D and E.
Conclusion: Our data emphasize that isolates of the ST131 clone have the ability to make a balance between resistance and virulence traits to establish a wider clone in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli.

Keywords: ST131, carbapenem, PCoA, phylogroup, ExPEC, UPEC

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