Molecular epidemiological analyses of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC), which are also called "uropathogenic E. coli" since they are the principle pathogens in urinary tract infection, involve structured observations of E. coli as they occur in the wild. Careful selection of subjects and use of appropriate methods for genotyping and statistical analysis are required for optimal results. Molecular epidemiological studies have helped to clarify the host-pathogen relationships, phylogenetic background, reservoirs, and transmission pathways of ExPEC, to assess potential vaccine candidates, and to delineate areas for further study. Ongoing discovery of new putative virulence factors (VFs), increasing awareness of the importance of VF expression and molecular variants of VFs, and growing appreciation of transmission as an important contributor to ExPEC infections provide abundant stimulus for future molecular epidemiological studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (J.R. Johnson, T.A. Russo). Ann Emery and Dave Prentiss (both, Minneapolis VA Medical Center) helped prepare the manuscript and figures, respectively.
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Escherichia coli
- Molecular epidemiology
- Urinary tract infection
- Virulence factors