Genomic analysis of fluoroquinolone-susceptible phylogenetic group B2 extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli causing infections in cats.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Veterinary microbiology, 2020, 245, pp. 108685
Issue Date:
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Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) can cause urinary tract and other types of infection in cats, but the relationship of cat ExPEC to human ExPEC remains equivocal. This study investigated the prevalence of ExPEC-associated sequence types (STs) from phylogenetic group B2 among fluoroquinolone-susceptible cat clinical isolates. For this, 323 fluoroquinolone-susceptible cat clinical E. coli isolates from Australia underwent PCR-based phylotyping and random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis to determine clonal relatedness. Of the 274 group B2 isolates, 53 underwent whole genome sequencing (WGS), whereas 221 underwent PCR-based screening for (group B2) sequence type complexes (STc) STc12, STc73, ST131, and STc372. Group B2 was the dominant phylogenetic group (274/323, 85 %), whereas within group B2 ST73 dominated, according to both WGS (43 % of 53; followed by ST127, ST12, and ST372 [4/53, 8 % each]) and ST-specific PCR (20 % of 221). In WGS-based comparisons of cat and reference human ST73 isolates, cat isolates had a relatively conserved virulence gene profile but were phylogenetically diverse. Although in the phylogram most cat and human ST73 isolates occupied host species-specific clusters within serotype-specific clades (O2:H1, O6:H1, O25:H1, O50/O2:H1), cat and human isolates were intermingled within two serotype-specific clades: O120:H31 (3 cat and 2 human isolates) and O22:H1 (3 cat and 5 human isolates). These findings confirm the importance of human-associated group B2 lineages as a cause of urinary tract infections in cats. The close genetic relationship of some cat and human ST73 strains suggests bi-directional transmission may be possible.
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