JOURNAL ARTICLE

Multiresistant uropathogenic Escherichia coli from a region in India where urinary tract infections are endemic: genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of sequence type 131 isolates of the CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing lineage

Arif Hussain, Christa Ewers, Nishant Nandanwar, Sebastian Guenther, Savita Jadhav, Lothar H Wieler, Niyaz Ahmed
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2012, 56 (12): 6358-65
23045357
Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (O25b:H4), associated with the CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and linked predominantly to the community-onset antimicrobial-resistant infections, has globally emerged as a public health concern. However, scant attention is given to the understanding of the molecular epidemiology of these strains in high-burden countries such as India. Of the 100 clinical E. coli isolates obtained by us from a setting where urinary tract infections are endemic, 16 ST131 E. coli isolates were identified by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Further, genotyping and phenotyping methods were employed to characterize their virulence and drug resistance patterns. All the 16 ST131 isolates harbored the CTX-M-15 gene, and half of them also carried TEM-1; 11 of these were positive for bla(OXA) groups 1 and 12 for aac(6')-Ib-cr. At least 12 isolates were refractory to four non-beta-lactam antibiotics: ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and tetracycline. Nine isolates carried the class 1 integron. Plasmid analysis indicated a large pool of up to six plasmids per strain with a mean of approximately three plasmids. Conjugation and PCR-based replicon typing (PBRT) revealed that the spread of resistance was associated with the FIA incompatibility group of plasmids. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and genotyping of the virulence genes showed a low level of diversity among these strains. The association of ESBL-encoding plasmid with virulence was demonstrated in transconjugants by serum assay. None of the 16 ST131 ESBL-producing E. coli strains were known to synthesize carbapenemase enzymes. In conclusion, our study reports a snapshot of the highly virulent/multiresistant clone ST131 of uropathogenic E. coli from India. This study suggests that the ST131 genotypes from this region are clonally evolved and are strongly associated with the CTX-M-15 enzyme, carry a high antibiotic resistance background, and have emerged as an important cause of community-acquired urinary tract infections.

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