In Escherichia coli infection, the implications of fluoroquinolone (FQ) and extended-spectrum cephalosporin plus cephamycin (AmpC) resistance for phylogenetic origin and virulence potential are undefined, as is the influence of ecological context on these associations. Accordingly, 106 E. coli isolates exhibiting FQ and/or AmpC resistance and 98 susceptible isolates were compared with regard to phylogenetic background and virulence profiles, stratified by host group (104 predominantly extraintestinal human isolates and 100 predominantly intestinal cattle and swine isolates). Although resistant isolates exhibited significant shifts in phylogenetic distribution and virulence profiles, human and animal isolates exhibited different phylogenetic shifts, and only among human isolates did resistance predict reduced virulence. Evidence for similar strains being resistant versus susceptible was scant. The O15:K52:H1 clonal group and the closely related "clonal group A" featured prominently among resistant and susceptible human isolates, respectively. Thus, in E. coli, antibiotic resistance predicts phylogenetic background and virulence potential in a complex, context-dependent fashion.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support: Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (to J.R.J. and P.W.); National Institutes of Health (grant DK-47504 to J.R.J.); National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program/US Department of Agriculture (grant 00-35212-9408 to J.R.J.).