Extended virulence genotypes of Escherichia coli strains from patients with urosepsis in relation to phylogeny and host compromise

J Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;181(1):261-72. doi: 10.1086/315217.


Among 75 urosepsis isolates of Escherichia coli, 29 virulence factor (VF) genes were detected by use of a novel polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Compared with probe hybridization, the PCR assay's specificity was 100% and sensitivity 97.1%. fyuA (yersiniabactin: overall prevalence, 93%), traT (serum resistance, 68%), and a pathogenicity-associated island marker (71%) occurred in most strains from both compromised and noncompromised hosts. Present in <20% of strains each were sfaS, focG (F1C fimbriae), afa/dra, bmaE (M fimbriae), gafD (G fimbriae), cnf1, cdtB (cytolethal distending toxin), cvaC (colicin V), and ibeA (invasion of brain endothelium). Different VFs were variously confined to virulence-associated phylogenetic group B2 (as defined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis); concentrated in group B2, but with spread beyond; or concentrated outside of group B2. These findings provide novel insights into the VFs of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli and demonstrate the new PCR assay's utility for molecular epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Virulence / genetics
  • Washington


  • DNA Primers