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Original Article
Relationships between Virulence Factors and Antimicrobial Resistance among Escherichia coli Isolated from Urinary Tract Infections and Commensal Isolates in Tehran, Iran
Mohammad Reza Asadi Karam, Mehri Habibi, Saeid Bouzari
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2018;9(5):217-224.   Published online October 31, 2018
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  • 20 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are the major cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Here, we determined whether sensitivity to antibiotics was related to the prevalence of iron scavenging genes, or to biofilm and hemolysis formation.


A total of 110 UPEC and 30 E coli isolates were collected from the urine of UTI patients and feces of healthy individuals without UTI, respectively. The presence of iron receptor genes and phenotypic properties were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction and phenotypic methods, respectively. Susceptibility to routine antibiotics was evaluated using the disc diffusion method.


The prevalence of iron scavenging genes ranged from 21.8% (ireA) to 84.5% (chuA) in the UPEC. Resistance to ceftazidime and cefotaxime was significantly correlated with the presence of fyuA and iutA iron genes. Biofilm production was significantly associated with the prevalence of fyuA and hma iron genes. A higher degree of antibiotic resistance was exhibited by isolates that produced biofilms than by their non-biofilm producing counterparts.


Our study clearly indicates that biofilm production is associated with antibiotic resistance, and that iron receptors and hemolysin production also contribute to reduced antibiotic sensitivity. These results further our understanding of the role that these virulence factors play during UPEC pathogenesis, which in turn may be valuable for the development of novel treatment strategies against UTIs.


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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives