Hemagglutination of human type O erythrocytes, hemolysin production, and serogrouping of Escherichia coli isolates from patients with acute pyelonephritis, cystitis, and asymptomatic bacteriuria

C. P. Green, V. L. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to study potential virulence factors associated with Escherichia coli urinary pathogens isolated from patients with urinary tract infection. These factors were compared with characteristics of normal-flora E. coli isolated from stool specimens of healthy individuals without a history of urinary tract infection. The potential virulence factor focused on in this study was hemagglutination (HA) of human type O erythrocytes by E. coli urinary pathogens. A total of 265 strains of E. coli isolated from patients with urinary tract infections was tested for their ability to hemagglutinate human type O erythrocytes; of these, 148 (56%) were HA positive. Only 6 of 36 fecal E. coli strains (17%) isolated from healthy controls were HA positive. This significant association of the presence of hemagglutinin on E. coli that causes urinary tract infections indicates the likelihood that HA is a marker of virulence. Only 12% (5 of 43) of Proteus mirabilis and 3% (3 of 104) of Klebsiella pneumoniae urinary isolates were HA positive. There was a trend for HA-positive E. coli to be isolated from patients with kidney infections and positive tests for antibody-coated bacteria rather than bladder infections and negative tests for antibody-coated bacteria, although the difference was not statistically significant. There was a significant correlation (P < 0.025) between hemolysin production and HA; 67% (69 of 103) of the isolates that produced hemolysin also hemagglutinated human type O erythrocytes. There was no significant correlation between HA and motility, although there was a trend for flagellated organisms to be non-hemagglutinators. There was a marked correlation between the presence of hemagglutinin and the serogroup of the E. coli isolate; serogroups O4, O7, and O50 were almost always HA positive (57 of 63; 90%). In contrast, serogroups O8 and O25 were rarely HA positive (2 of 30; 7%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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