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Volume 48, Number 3, June 2015

Phenotypes of Escherichia coli isolated from urine: Differences between extended-spectrum β-lactamase producers and sensitive strains 

Petra Šišková, Lenka Černohorská, Martina Mahelová, Kristýna Turková, Vladana Woznicová

Received: February 25, 2014    Revised: April 12, 2014    Accepted: August 14, 2014   


Corresponding author:

Vladana Woznicova
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University and St. Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic
Corresponding author. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University and St. Anne's University Hospital, Pekařská 53, 656 91 Brno, Czech Republic.


Background and purpose: 

Escherichia coli is a frequent causative agent of urinary tract infections, and increasing resistance of E. coli to antimicrobials presents a growing challenge. 



Here we compare phenotypes of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers (n = 220) with a control group of sensitive strains (non-ESBL producers; n = 150). For each strain, we assessed the presence of O25 antigen, hemolysis, biofilm production, sensitivity to antibiotics, and biochemical profile. 



Compared to the control group, ESBL producers were more frequently O25 positive (6.0% vs. 42.3%) and less frequently hemolytic (34.7% vs. 6.4%). Comparison of biofilm production in brain–heart infusion (BHI) and in BHI with 4% glucose supplementation showed that ESBL-positive strains produced biofilm in BHI with glucose less intensely than the control group (p < 0.05). Most ESBL producers were ciprofloxacin-resistant (91.8%). Biochemical analyses revealed that ESBL producers more frequently utilized inositol, ornithine, sorbitol, melibiose, and saccharose, whereas the control group more frequently used esculin, lysine, arginine, and dulcitol. The control group strains with O25 antigen were more commonly resistant to ciprofloxacin (p < 0.05). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results showed higher variability among the control group of sensitive strains. 



These findings suggest a potential to detect ESBL strains based on virulence factors and biochemical properties, which could be useful in shaping proper empiric antimicrobial therapy, and for initiating such therapy as soon as possible. 


Key words:

biochemistry, Escherichia coli, extended-spectrum β-lactamase, phenotype