Genomic analysis of fluoroquinolone-susceptible phylogenetic group B2 extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli causing infections in cats

Amanda K. Kidsley, Mark O'Dea, Esmaeil Ebrahimie, Manijeh Mohammadi-Dehcheshmeh, Sugiyono Saputra, David Jordan, James R. Johnson, David Gordon, Conny Turni, Steven P. Djordjevic, Sam Abraham, Darren J. Trott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) can cause urinary tract and other types of infection in cats, but the relationship of cat ExPEC to human ExPEC remains equivocal. This study investigated the prevalence of ExPEC-associated sequence types (STs) from phylogenetic group B2 among fluoroquinolone-susceptible cat clinical isolates. For this, 323 fluoroquinolone-susceptible cat clinical E. coli isolates from Australia underwent PCR-based phylotyping and random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis to determine clonal relatedness. Of the 274 group B2 isolates, 53 underwent whole genome sequencing (WGS), whereas 221 underwent PCR-based screening for (group B2) sequence type complexes (STc) STc12, STc73, ST131, and STc372. Group B2 was the dominant phylogenetic group (274/323, 85 %), whereas within group B2 ST73 dominated, according to both WGS (43 % of 53; followed by ST127, ST12, and ST372 [4/53, 8 % each]) and ST-specific PCR (20 % of 221). In WGS-based comparisons of cat and reference human ST73 isolates, cat isolates had a relatively conserved virulence gene profile but were phylogenetically diverse. Although in the phylogram most cat and human ST73 isolates occupied host species-specific clusters within serotype-specific clades (O2:H1, O6:H1, O25:H1, O50/O2:H1), cat and human isolates were intermingled within two serotype-specific clades: O120:H31 (3 cat and 2 human isolates) and O22:H1 (3 cat and 5 human isolates). These findings confirm the importance of human-associated group B2 lineages as a cause of urinary tract infections in cats. The close genetic relationship of some cat and human ST73 strains suggests bi-directional transmission may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108685
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant LP130100736 with Zoetis Australia as the main industry partner. This work was also supported in part by Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (USA) .

Funding Information:
DJT has received research funding and undertaken consultancies for Bayer, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Virbac, Luoda Pharma, Neoculi and IRiccorgpharm. SA has received research funding from Zoetis and Neoculi. JRJ has received research support from and/or has undertaken consultancies for Achaogen, Allergan, Crucell/Janssen, Melinta, Merck, Shionogi, Syntiron, and Tetraphase.


  • Companion animals
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genomics
  • Virulence genes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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