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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 421-429

Molecular, phylogenetic and antibiotic resistance analysis of enteroaggregative escherichia coli/uropathogenic Escherichia coli hybrid genotypes causing urinary tract infections


Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neelam Taneja
Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_20_365

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Background: Horizontal gene transfer of virulence genes (VGs) from different Escherichia coli pathotypes results in the evolution of hybrid strains. Hybrid genotypes of enteroaggregative E. coli and uropathogenic E. coli (EAEC/UPEC) have been reported in sporadic infections and outbreaks of extraintestinal origin. Yet, their association with routine infections is still underrated. Materials and Methods: In this study, we analysed 163 isolates of E. coli from cases of urinary tract infection seeking hybrid (EAEC/UPEC) strains. Using multiplex polymerase chain reaction, we investigated VGs (adhesive and toxin genes) of UPEC along with EAEC marker genes (aap and agg R), ast A (toxin genes) and serine protease autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae, pet (plasmid-encoded toxin) and pic (mucinase gene). Those UPEC strains which had characteristic defining genes of EAEC (agg R/aap or their combination) were considered UPEC/EAEC hybrids. Results: Molecular predictors of EAEC (aap and aggR) were detected in 20.2% (33/163) of the strains. The pap C was also detected in 36% of the EAEC/UPEC hybrid strains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that hybrid strains belonged to Group D (60.6%). Nearly 73.8% of UPEC and 75.7% of UPEC/EAEC hybrid strains were multidrug-resistant. Among UPEC isolates, 72.3% and in hybrid UPEC/EAEC, 78.7% isolates were able to produce biofilm. Conclusions: Our results indicated a closer relationship among EAEC and UPEC, which suggested that some EAEC strains can be potential uropathogens. Ours is a first study documenting the existence of EAEC pathotypes VGs in UPEC strains of nosocomial origin; further studies are required to understand the diarrhoeagenic potential of these hybrids.






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