Molecular epidemiology of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from a regional cohort of elderly patients highlights the prevalence of ST131 strains with increased antimicrobial resistance in both community and hospital care settings

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Nov;66(11):2501-8. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkr349. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


Objectives: To assess the molecular epidemiology and prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli causing urinary tract infections of elderly patients from community and hospital settings. Also, to determine whether the possession of antibiotic resistance and virulence-associated genes can be linked to patient location or the clonal group of the organisms in question.

Methods: E. coli were isolated from the urine samples of elderly patients from the Nottingham area, and subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing, virulence gene detection by PCR and multilocus sequence typing.

Results: No correlation was observed between community- or hospital-derived strains with regard to antibiotic resistance levels or virulence gene profiles. E. coli ST131 (where ST stands for sequence type) was the predominant ST found in both hospital and community samples, and demonstrated high levels of antibiotic resistance to the test panel, but did not possess a significantly larger array of virulence genes or a specific gene profile compared with other STs.

Conclusions: The level of antibiotic resistance or virulence gene possession in uropathogenic E. coli is not directly associated with the healthcare setting of the patient, but there is a variation in antibiotic resistance and virulence gene possession depending on clonal group. ST131 is highly virulent and demonstrates high levels of antibiotic resistance, but its virulence does not appear to be attributable to the possession of a specific virulence-associated gene set or the possession of any virulence-associated gene in significantly higher levels than in any other ST.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli* / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli* / genetics
  • Escherichia coli* / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli* / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Virulence Factors
  • beta-lactamase CTX-M-15
  • beta-Lactamases