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Escherichia coli strains belonging to phylogenetic group B2 have superior capacity to persist in the intestinal microflora of infants.

Journal article
Authors Forough Nowrouzian
Agnes E Wold
Ingegerd Adlerberth
Published in The Journal of infectious diseases
Volume 191
Issue 7
Pages 1078-83
ISSN 0022-1899
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute of Laboratory Medicine
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Bacteriology
Pages 1078-83
Language en
Keywords Adhesins, Escherichia coli, genetics, Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, genetics, Bacterial Typing Techniques, DNA Fingerprinting, DNA, Bacterial, analysis, isolation & purification, Escherichia coli, classification, growth & development, isolation & purification, pathogenicity, Escherichia coli Proteins, genetics, Fimbriae Proteins, genetics, Genes, Bacterial, Humans, Hypersensitivity, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Intestines, microbiology, Phylogeny, Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique, Receptors, Cell Surface, genetics, Sweden, Virulence, genetics, Virulence Factors, genetics
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


Escherichia coli strains segregate into 4 phylogenetic groups, designated "A," "B1," "B2," and "D." Pathogenic strains belong to group B2 and, to a lesser extent, group D, which more frequently carry virulence-factor genes than do group A strains and group B1 strains. This study investigated whether the capacity of E. coli to persist in the human intestine is related to its phylogenetic type. Resident (n=58) and transient (n=19) commensal E. coli strains isolated during a longitudinal study of 70 Swedish infants and previously tested for virulence-factor-gene carriage were tested for phylogenetic type. Of the strains resident in the intestinal microflora, 60% belonged to group B2, compared with only 21% of the transient strains (P=.004). In logistic regression, group B2 type predicted persistence in the intestinal microflora, independent of carriage of all investigated virulence-factor genes, including genes for P fimbriae (P=.03). Thus, group B2 strains appear to possess yet unidentified traits that enhance their survival in the human intestine.

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