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Virulence-associated genes and antimicrobial resistance patterns in bacteria isolated from pregnant and nonpregnant women with urinary tract infections: the risk of neonatal sepsis.

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is classified as the major causative agent of urinary tract infections (UTIs). UPEC virulence and antibiotic resistance can lead to complications in pregnant women and (or) newborns. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the etiological agents of UTIs, as well as to identify genes related to virulence factors in bacteria isolated from pregnant and nonpregnant women. A total of 4506 urine samples were collected from pregnant and nonpregnant women. Urine cultures were performed, and PCR was used to identify phylogroups and virulence-related genes. Antibiotic resistance profiles were determined. The incidence of UTIs was 6.9% (pregnant women, n  = 206 and nonpregnant women, n  = 57), and UPEC belonging to phylogroup A was the most prevalent. The presence of genes related to capsular protection, adhesins, iron acquisition, and serum protection in UPEC was associated with not being pregnant, while the presence of genes related to adhesins was associated with pregnancy. Bacteria isolated from nonpregnant women were more resistant to antibiotics; 36.5% were multidrug resistant, and 34.9% were extensively drug resistant. Finally, UTIs were associated with neonatal sepsis risk, particularly in pregnant women who underwent cesarean section while having a UTI caused by E. coli. In conclusion, UPEC isolated from nonpregnant women carried more virulence factors than those isolated from pregnant women, and maternal UTIs were associated with neonatal sepsis risk.

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