Escherichia coli O25b-ST131: A pandemic, multiresistant, community-associated strain

Benjamin A. Rogers, Hanna E. Sidjabat, David L. Paterson

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Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a worldwide pandemic clone, causing predominantly community-onset antimicrobial-resistant infection. Its pandemic spread was identified in 2008 by utilizing multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing E. coli from three continents. Subsequent research has confirmed the worldwide prevalence of ST131 harbouring a broad range of virulence and resistance genes on a transferable plasmid. A high prevalence of the clone (~30%-60%) has been identified amongst fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli. In addition, it potentially harbours a variety of β-lactamase genes; most often, these include CTX-M family β-lactamases, and, less frequently, TEM, SHV and CMY β-lactamases. Our knowledge of ST131's geographical distribution is incomplete. A broad distribution has been demonstrated amongst antimicrobial-resistant E. coli from human infection in Europe (particularly the UK), North America, Canada, Japan and Korea. High rates are suggested from limited data in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The clone has also been detected in companion animals, non-companion animals and foods. The clinical spectrum of disease described is similar to that for other E. coli, with urinary tract infection predominant. This can range from cystitis to life-threatening sepsis. Infection occurs in humans of all ages. Therapy must be tailored to the antimicrobial resistance phenotype of the infecting isolate and the site of infection. Phenotypic detection of the ST131 clone is not possible and DNA-based techniques, including MLST and PCR, are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • β-lactamases
  • Bacterial infections
  • Molecular epidemiology

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