Phenotypic and genotypic changes over time and across facilities of serial colonizing and infecting Escherichia coli isolates recovered

Katrin Mende*, Miriam L. Beckius, Wendy C. Zera, Xin Yu, Kristelle A. Cheatle, Deepak Aggarwal, Ping Li, Bradley A. Lloyd, David R. Tribble, Amy C. Weintrob, Clinton K. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Escherichia coli is the most common colonizing and infecting organism isolated from U.S. service members injured during deployment. Our objective was to evaluate the phenotypic and genotypic changes of infecting and colonizing E. coli organisms over time and across facilities to better understand their transmission patterns. E. coli isolates were collected via surveillance cultures and infection workups from U.S. military personnel injured during deployment (June 2009 to May 2011). The isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and multiplex PCR for phylotyping to determine their resistance profiles and clonality. A total of 343 colonizing and 136 infecting E. coli isolates were analyzed, of which 197 (57%) and 109 (80%) isolates, respectively, produced extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL). Phylogroup A was predominant among both colonizing (38%) and infecting isolates (43%). Although 188 unique pulsed-field types (PFTs) were identified from the colonizing isolates, and 54 PFTs were identified from the infecting isolates, there was a lack of PFT overlap between study years, combat zones, and military treatment facilities. On a per-subject basis, 26% and 32% of the patients with serial colonizing isolates and 10% and 21% with serial infecting isolates acquired changes in their phylogroup and PFT profiles, respectively, over time. The production of ESBL remained high over time and across facilities, with no substantial changes in antimicrobial susceptibilities. Overall, our results demonstrated an array of genotypic and phenotypic differences for the isolates without large clonal clusters; however, the same PFTs were occasionally observed in the colonizing and infecting isolates, suggesting that the source of infections may be endogenous host organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3869-3877
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenotypic and genotypic changes over time and across facilities of serial colonizing and infecting Escherichia coli isolates recovered'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this