Objectives: Recently, a CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli O25b-ST131 clone, belonging to the B2 phylogenetic group and with a high virulence potential, has been reported all over the world, representing a major public health problem. The present study was carried out to develop a rapid and simple detection assay that identifies members of this clone.
Methods: A total of 627 E. coli isolates of which 373 produced an ESBL, collected across four continents, were screened using a O25b-ST131 clone allele-specific PCR for the pabB gene.
Results: One hundred and forty-three ESBL isolates were found positive with the assay. These isolates were all of O25b type and, when studied by multilocus sequence typing (25 cases), were all of ST131. The O25b-ST131 clone was found to produce ESBLs other than CTX-M-15, specifically CTX-M-2, -3, -14, -27, -32 and -61 as well as TEM-24. This clone represents 3% of non-ESBL B2 isolates originating from urinary tract infections in Paris.
Conclusions: We have developed a PCR-based assay that easily identifies a clone with high likelihood of producing ESBLs, including CTX-M-15.