Seventeen Escherichia coli isolates from dogs with urinary tract infection (UTI) were characterized with respect to phylogenetic background and virulence genotype and were compared with the E. coli reference (ECOR) collection and with human clinical isolates with similar serotypes from patients with diverse extraintestinal infections. Most of the canine urine isolates were from (virulence-associated) E. coli phylogenetic groups B2 or D, expressed papG allele III, and exhibited numerous other putative virulence genes that are characteristic of human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Close phylogenetic and pathotypic correspondence was documented within 5 clonal groups among individual canine and human isolates, including archetypal human ExPEC strains CFT073 (O6:K2:H1), 536 (O6:K15:H31), and J96 (O4:K-:H5). These findings suggest that canine UTI isolates, rather than being dog-specific pathogens, as previously suspected, may pose an infectious threat to humans. Commonality between canine and human ExPEC has potentially important implications for disease prevention, antibiotic resistance avoidance, and studies of pathogenesis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support: Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Institutes of Health (DK-47504 to J.R.J.).