Prevalence, distribution and genetic association of adhesin gene sequences of Escherichia coli isolates from urinary tract infections in Slovenia


  • Marjanca Starčič-Erjavec
  • Darja Žgur-Bertok



uropathogenic Escherichia coli, UPEC, adhesin, fimbriae


110 uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains obtained from the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Medical Faculty in Ljubljana, Slovenia were screened with molecular biology methods for the well characterized adhesin gene sequences: fimH (Type 1 fimbriae), papC, papGII andpapGIII (P-fimbriae), sfa (S-fimbriae) and afa/dra (Afa/Dr adhesins). The fimH gene nucleotide sequences were detected in 97% of the isolates, papC in 49%, papGII in 34%, papGIII in 13%, sfa/foc in 24% and afa/dra sequences were harbored by 2% of the tested isolates. FimH sequences were found with similar prevalence in E. coli strains of all four phylogenetic groups A, B1, B2 and D. papC sequences were also found in all phylogenetic groups, but they were the most prevalent (64%) in the B2 group. The papGII showed the highest prevalence in the D group (48%), but papGIII adhesin sequences were exclusively found in the B2 group. A very high prevalence of S-fimbriae in the B2 group was detected. The analysis of co-associations of adhesin gene sequences and some other traits revealed that papC gene sequences were co-associated with P-fimbriae adhesin gene sequences papGII and papGIII and with S-fimbriae sfa/foc sequences. A negative association was found between papGIII and traT and between papGIII and RepFIB sequence. Interestingly, a negative association was also visible between integrons and P- and S-fimbriae, albeit the association was not statistically significant.


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Original Research Paper

How to Cite

Starčič-Erjavec, M., & Žgur-Bertok, D. (2008). Prevalence, distribution and genetic association of adhesin gene sequences of Escherichia coli isolates from urinary tract infections in Slovenia. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 51(1), 21-31.

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