Background: Based on biochemical properties, Enterobacter cloacae represents a large complex of at least 13 variant species, subspecies, and genotypes that progressively identified as the most species causing hospital-acquired infections. The aim of this study was to determine the relevance between phylogenetically related strains within the E. cloacae complex and the frequency of urinary tract infection caused by them.
Methods: A 268-bp fragment was obtained from hsp60 gene for 50 clinical E. cloacae isolates from urine cultures of inpatients that admitted to six hospitals in Tehran, Iran during December 2012 to November 2013. The 107 nucleotide sequences were analyzed and the evolutionary distances of sequences were computed and neighbor-joining tree was calculated.
Results: It showed that all of the genetic clusters have not an equal involvement in pathogenesis of urinary tract infections. Three superior clusters were found, together representing more than two third (80%) of the isolates (cluster VI with 25 members; clusters III and VIII with 9 and 6 members, respectively) and some genetic clusters were absent (IV, X, XII, and xiii), some of which are supposed to be associated with plants and no human infection has been reported.
Conclusions: This study, for the first time, reports the unequal contribution of E. cloacae complex subspecies and clusters in urinary tract infections in Iran and together with studies from other countries suggest that the subspecies of E.hormaechei subsp. Oharae is the most prevalent E. cloacae complex subspecies regardless of country under study.
Keywords: Enterobacter cloacae complex; Urinary tract infection; hsp60.