Author(s): Petkovsek Z, Elersic K, Gubina M, ZgurBertok D, Starcic Erjavec M
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Abstract Escherichia coli strains frequently are isolated from skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI); however, their virulence potential has not yet been extensively studied. In the present study, we characterized 102 E. coli SSTI strains isolated mostly from surgical and traumatic wounds, foot ulcers, and decubitus. The strains were obtained from the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Phylogenetic backgrounds, virulence factors (VFs), and antibiotic resistance profiles were determined. Correlations between VFs and phylogenetic groups were established and analyzed with regard to patient factors. Further, the associations of the three most prevalent antibiotic resistance patterns with virulence potential were analyzed. Our results showed that the majority of the studied strains (64\%) [corrected] belonged to the B2 phylogenetic group. The most prevalent VF was ompT (80\%), while toxin genes cnf1 and hlyA were found with prevalences of 32 and 30\%, respectively. None of the investigated bacterial characteristics were significantly associated with patient gender, age, type of infection, or immunodeficiency. The most prevalent antibiotic resistance pattern was resistance to ampicillin (46\%), followed by resistance to tetracycline (25\%) and fluoroquinolones (21\%). Strains resistant to ciprofloxacin exhibited a significantly reduced prevalence of cnf1 (P < 0.05) and usp (P < 0.01). Our study revealed that E. coli isolates from SSTIs exhibit a remarkable virulence potential that is comparable to that of E. coli isolates from urinary tract infections and bacteremia.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry