Journal Article

Sharing of Virulent <i>Escherichia coli</i> Clones among Household Members of a Woman with Acute Cystitis

James R. Johnson and Connie Clabots

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 43, issue 10, pages e101-e108
Published in print November 2006 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/508541
Sharing of Virulent Escherichia coli Clones among Household Members of a Woman with Acute Cystitis

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Background. Within-household transmission of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) may contribute to the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection (UTI), but this is poorly understood.

Methods. A woman with acute UTI, 4 human household members who cohabitated with her, and the family's pet dog underwent prospective longitudinal surveillance for colonizing E. coli for 7–9 weeks after the woman's UTI episode. Unique clones were resolved by random amplified polymorphic DNA and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis. Virulence genes, phylogenetic group, and O types were defined by PCR. Comparisons with reference strains were made using random amplified polymorphic DNA profiling.

Results. Serial fecal and urine samples from the 6 household members yielded 7 unique E. coli clones (4 of which were ExPEC and 3 of which were non-ExPEC). For 3 clones, extensive among-host sharing was evident in patterns suggesting host-to-host transmission. The mother's UTI clone, which represented E. coli O1:K1:H7, was the clone that was most extensively shared (in 5 hosts, including the dog) and most frequently recovered (in 45% of samples and at all 3 time points). The other 3 ExPEC clones corresponded with E. coli O6:K2:H1, O1:K1:H7, and O2:F10,F48.

Conclusions. E. coli clones, including ExPEC, can be extensively shared among human and animal household members in the absence of sexual contact and in patterns suggesting host-to-host transmission.

Journal Article.  4714 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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