Bacterial morphotypes as important trait for uropathogenic E. Coli diagnostic; a virulence-phenotype-phylogeny study

Manuel G. Ballesteros-Monrreal, Margarita M.P. Arenas-Hernández, Edwin Barrios-Villa, Josue Juarez, Maritza Lizeth Álvarez-Ainza, Pablo Taboada, Rafael De la Rosa-López, Enrique Bolado-Martínez*, Dora Valencia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) belong to the most common pathologies in Mexico and are mainly caused by Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC possesses a wide diversity of virulence factors that allow it to carry out its pathogenesis mechanism in the urinary tract (UT). The development of morphotypes in UT represents an important feature of UPEC because it is associated with complications in diagnosis of UTI. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of bacterial morphotypes, virulence genes, virulence phenotypes, antibiotic resistant, and phylogenetic groups in clinical isolates of UPEC obtained from women in Sonora, Mexico. Forty UPEC isolates were obtained, and urine morphotypes were observed in 65% of the urine samples from where E. coli was isolated. Phylogenetic group B2 was the most prevalent. The most frequent virulence genes were fimH (100%), fliCD (90%), and sfaD/focC (72%). Biofilm formation (100%) and motility (98%) were the most prevalent phenotypes. Clinical isolates showed high resistance to aminoglycosides and β-lactams antibiotics. These data suggest that the search for morphotypes in urine sediment must be incorporated in the urinalysis procedure and also that clinical isolates of UPEC in this study can cause upper, lower, and recurrent UTI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2381
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • UPEC morphotypes
  • UPEC virulence
  • Urinary tract infection


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