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Distinguishing Pathovars from Nonpathovars: Escherichia coli *

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
  • Author: Lee W. Riley1
  • Editor: Ronald E. Blanton2
    Affiliations: 1: Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720; 2: Center for Global Health & Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Source: microbiolspec December 2020 vol. 8 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0014-2020
  • Received 11 November 2020 Accepted 21 December 2020 Published 31 December 2020
  • Lee W. Riley, [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    is one of the most well-adapted and pathogenically versatile bacterial organisms. It causes a variety of human infections, including gastrointestinal illnesses and extraintestinal infections. It is also part of the intestinal commensal flora of humans and other mammals. Groups of that cause diarrhea are often described as intestinal pathogenic (IPEC), while those that cause infections outside of the gut are called extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC). IPEC can cause a variety of diarrheal illnesses as well as extraintestinal syndromes such as hemolytic-uremic syndrome. ExPEC cause urinary tract infections, bloodstream infection, sepsis, and neonatal meningitis. IPEC and ExPEC have thus come to be referred to as pathogenic variants of or pathovars. While IPEC can be distinguished from commensal based on their characteristic virulence factors responsible for their associated clinical manifestations, ExPEC cannot be so easily distinguished. IPEC most likely have reservoirs outside of the human intestine but it is unclear if ExPEC represent nothing more than commensal that breach a sterile barrier to cause extraintestinal infections. This question has become more complicated by the advent of whole genome sequencing (WGS) that has raised a new question about the taxonomic characterization of based on traditional clinical microbiologic and phylogenetic methods. This review discusses how molecular epidemiologic approaches have been used to address these questions, and how answers to these questions may contribute to our better understanding of the epidemiology of infections caused by .

    *This article is part of a curated collection.

  • Citation: Riley L. 2020. Distinguishing Pathovars from Nonpathovars: Escherichia coli * . Microbiol Spectrum 8(4):AME-0014-2020. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0014-2020.


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is one of the most well-adapted and pathogenically versatile bacterial organisms. It causes a variety of human infections, including gastrointestinal illnesses and extraintestinal infections. It is also part of the intestinal commensal flora of humans and other mammals. Groups of that cause diarrhea are often described as intestinal pathogenic (IPEC), while those that cause infections outside of the gut are called extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC). IPEC can cause a variety of diarrheal illnesses as well as extraintestinal syndromes such as hemolytic-uremic syndrome. ExPEC cause urinary tract infections, bloodstream infection, sepsis, and neonatal meningitis. IPEC and ExPEC have thus come to be referred to as pathogenic variants of or pathovars. While IPEC can be distinguished from commensal based on their characteristic virulence factors responsible for their associated clinical manifestations, ExPEC cannot be so easily distinguished. IPEC most likely have reservoirs outside of the human intestine but it is unclear if ExPEC represent nothing more than commensal that breach a sterile barrier to cause extraintestinal infections. This question has become more complicated by the advent of whole genome sequencing (WGS) that has raised a new question about the taxonomic characterization of based on traditional clinical microbiologic and phylogenetic methods. This review discusses how molecular epidemiologic approaches have been used to address these questions, and how answers to these questions may contribute to our better understanding of the epidemiology of infections caused by .

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Pangenome analysis of , 1997-2018. Core genes are all genes shared among all strains belonging to the species as defined by the 16S rDNA sequence.

Source: microbiolspec December 2020 vol. 8 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0014-2020
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Intestinal pathogenic (IPEC)-associated virulence genes targeted for PCR-based detection.

Source: microbiolspec December 2020 vol. 8 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0014-2020
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Non-human sources of intercontinental extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) sequence types (ST) based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST) archived in the Enterobase database (http://enterobase.warwick.ac.uk/species/index/ecoli) as of November 2020. The total number of each ST in the database as of November 8, 2020 is shown in the right column.

Source: microbiolspec December 2020 vol. 8 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.AME-0014-2020

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