JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sequence type 131 fimH30 and fimH41 subclones amongst Escherichia coli isolates in Australia and New Zealand

Benjamin A Rogers, Paul R Ingram, Naomi Runnegar, Matthew C Pitman, Joshua T Freeman, Eugene Athan, Sally Havers, Hanna E Sidjabat, Earlleen Gunning, Mary De Almeida, Kaylene Styles, David L Paterson
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2015, 45 (4): 351-8
25707371
The clonal composition of Escherichia coli causing extra-intestinal infections includes ST131 and other common uropathogenic clones. Drivers for the spread of these clones and risks for their acquisition have been difficult to define. In this study, molecular epidemiology was combined with clinical data from 182 patients enrolled in a case-control study of community-onset expanded-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant E. coli (ESC-R-EC) in Australia and New Zealand. Genetic analysis included antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, clonality by DiversiLab (rep-PCR) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and subtyping of ST131 by identification of polymorphisms in the fimH gene. The clonal composition of expanded-spectrum cephalosporin-susceptible E. coli and ESC-R-EC isolates differed, with six MLST clusters amongst susceptible isolates (median 7 isolates/cluster) and three clusters amongst resistant isolates, including 40 (45%) ST131 isolates. Population estimates indicate that ST131 comprises 8% of all E. coli within our population; the fluoroquinolone-susceptible H41 subclone comprised 4.5% and the H30 subclone comprised 3.5%. The H30 subclone comprised 39% of all ESC-R-EC and 41% of all fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli within our population. Patients with ST131 were also more likely than those with non-ST131 isolates to present with an upper than lower urinary tract infection (RR=1.8, 95% CI 1.01-3.1). ST131 and the H30 subclone were predominant amongst ESC-R-EC but were infrequent amongst susceptible isolates where the H41 subclone was more prevalent. Within our population, the proportional contribution of ST131 to fluoroquinolone resistance is comparable with that of other regions. In contrast, the overall burden of ST131 is low by global standards.

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