The type 1 pili regulator gene fimX and pathogenicity island PAI-X as molecular markers of uropathogenic Escherichia coli.
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) fall within a larger group of isolates producing extraintestinal disease. UPEC express type 1 pili as a critical virulence determinant mediating adherence to and invasion into urinary tract tissues. Type 1 pili expression is under regulation by a family of site-specific recombinases, including FimX, which is encoded from a genomic island called PAI-X for pathogenicity island of FimX. Using a new multiplex PCR, fimX and the additional PAI-X genes were found to be highly associated with UPEC (144/173 = 83.2 %), and more prevalent in UPEC of lower urinary tract origin (105/120 = 87.5 %) than upper urinary tract origin (39/53 = 74 %; P<0.05) or commensal isolates (28/78 = 36 %; P≤0.0001). The Fim-like recombinase gene fimX is the only family member that has a significant association with UPEC compared to commensal isolates. Our results indicate PAI-X genes, including the type 1 pili regulator gene fimX, are highly prevalent among UPEC isolates and have a strong positive correlation with genomic virulence factors, suggesting a potential role for PAI-X in the extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli lifestyle.
Bateman, SL; Stapleton, AE; Stamm, WE; Hooton, TM; Seed, PC
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)