Serotypes, genotypes and antimicrobial resistance patterns of human diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli isolates circulating in southeastern China

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 Jan;20(1):52-8. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12188. Epub 2013 Mar 22.


Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) infection is a major health problem in developing countries. The prevalence and characteristics of DEC have not been thoroughly investigated in China. Consecutive faecal specimens from outpatients with acute diarrhoea in nine sentinel hospitals in southeastern China were collected from July 2009 to June 2011. Bacterial and viral pathogens were detected by culture and RT-PCR, respectively. DEC isolates were further classified into five pathotypes using multiplex PCR. The O/H serotypes, sequence types (STs) and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of the DEC isolates were determined. A total of 2466 faecal specimens were collected, from which 347 (14.1%) DEC isolates were isolated. DEC was the dominant bacterial pathogen detected. The DEC isolates included 217 EAEC, 62 ETEC, 52 EPEC, 14 STEC, one EIEC and one EAEC/ETEC. O45 (6.6%) was the predominant serotype. Genotypic analysis revealed that the major genotype was ST complex 10 (87, 25.6%). Isolates belonging to the serogroups or genotypes of O6, O25, O159, ST48, ST218, ST94 and ST1491 were highly susceptible to the majority of antimicrobials. In contrast, isolates belonging to O45, O15, O1, O169, ST38, ST226, ST69, ST31, ST93, ST394 and ST648 were highly resistant to the majority of antimicrobials. DEC accounted for the majority of bacterial pathogens causing acute diarrhoea in southeastern China, and it is therefore necessary to test for all DEC, not only the EHEC O157:H7. Some serogroups or genotypes of DEC were highly resistant to the majority of antimicrobials. DEC surveillance should be emphasized.

Keywords: Acute diarrhoea; O/H serotypes; antimicrobial resistance; diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli; sequence types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / genetics
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / classification*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Serotyping
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Virulence Factors