Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are known to cause important diseases of humans and animals, and they have been shown to carry a variety of plasmids associated with increased virulence and decreased antimicrobial susceptibility. Here, the completed DNA sequence of a human uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC; O6:H31 isolate) plasmid, pEC14_114, was determined. The plasmid was 114,222 bp in length and was highly similar to plasmid sequences or draft contiguous sequences from three other human cystitis-associated UPEC isolates. pEC14_114 contained 141 coding regions, including a number of genes associated with mobile genetic elements, F-type transfer, plasmid maintenance and stability, colicin immunity, and plasmid replication. This plasmid also possessed a "genetic load" region containing genes with predicted similarity to iron acquisition systems and virulence factors. The prevalence of pEC14-associated genes was determined for a collection of 1456 E. coli isolates, including those from food products, humans, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. pEC14_114-associated genes were found significantly more often (16-35%) among human UPEC and neonatal meningitis-associated isolates than among food- and animal-source isolates (0-8%). Overall, this plasmid represents a novel IncFIB/FIIA plasmid type associated with human ExPEC belonging to the B2 phylogenetic group. The overall role of this plasmid, if any, in human ExPEC infections remains to be determined.
- Escherichia coli
- Urinary tract infection