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Horizontally acquired papGII -containing pathogenicity islands underlie the emergence of invasive uropathogenic Escherichia coli lineages

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Johnson, James R. 
Frimodt-Møller, Niels 


Abstract: Escherichia coli is the leading cause of urinary tract infection, one of the most common bacterial infections in humans. Despite this, a genomic perspective is lacking regarding the phylogenetic distribution of isolates associated with different clinical syndromes. Here, we present a large-scale phylogenomic analysis of a spatiotemporally and clinically diverse set of 907 E. coli isolates, including 722 uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) isolates. A genome-wide association approach identifies the (P-fimbriae-encoding) papGII locus as the key feature distinguishing invasive UPEC, defined as isolates associated with severe UTI, i.e., kidney infection (pyelonephritis) or urinary-source bacteremia, from non-invasive UPEC, defined as isolates associated with asymptomatic bacteriuria or bladder infection (cystitis). Within the E. coli population, distinct invasive UPEC lineages emerged through repeated horizontal acquisition of diverse papGII-containing pathogenicity islands. Our findings elucidate the molecular determinants of severe UTI and have implications for the early detection of this pathogen.



Article, /631/326/107, /631/326/325/2482, /692/699/255/1318, /692/699/2768/1865, /45, article

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Nature Communications

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Nature Publishing Group UK