Escherichia coli colonizing the neurogenic bladder are similar to widespread clones causing disease in patients with normal bladder function

T. A. Schlager, J. R. Johnson, L. M. Ouellette, T. S. Whittam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Study design: Clonal typing of neurogenic clones. Objective: To determine whether neurogenic clones carried over weeks in the urine of asymptomatic children with neurogenic bladder were similar to known uropathogenic clones associated with disease. Setting: Michigan State University; VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Methods: Escherichia coli isolates from the urine of 15 children previously followed were typed by multilocus sequence typing and compared to 2 human pyelonephritis genome strains, 29 pediatric or adult symptomatic urinary tract infection strains, 15 pediatric asymptomatic bacteriuria strains, 6 animal urinary tract infection strains and a neonatal meningitis-septicemia prototype K1 strain. Phylotypes and virulence genotypes were determined using PCR. Results: Twenty-nine E. coli isolates were classified into 15 clones. Six of 15 clones were the same sequence type or a close relative to a clone that caused disease in a human or animal. These clones were considered uropathogens. The remaining nine clones were not closely related to a clone that caused disease and were considered commensal clones. Uropathogens were predominantly group B2, exhibited more virulence genes and were carried for more weeks in the neurogenic bladder compared to commensal clones. Nine of 15 children carried one or more uropathogenic clones; 4 children carried one or more commensal clones and 2 children carried both uropathogenic and commensal clones. Conclusion: Children with neurogenic bladder most commonly carried commensal clones. Uropathogenic clones were associated with prolonged carriage, however, carriage was not associated with symptomatic disease or deterioration of the upper urinary tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Pendleton Pediatric Infectious Disease Research Laboratory and by the office of research and development, Department of Veterans Affairs. We thank B Foxman and S Manning for review of our study and K Ashe for technical assistance.


  • Bacteriuria
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Sequence types
  • Virulence factors


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