Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are the principal cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs) which can be either hospital- or community-acquired. The most crucial factor in the persistence and recurrence of UTIs is the biofilm formation ability of UPEC, which protects them against antimicrobial treatment.
To investigate the genetic relatedness, biofilm formation ability, and biofilm-related genes in UPEC isolated from hospital- and community-acquired UTI patients.
In vitro biofilm formation ability of 100 UPEC isolates, collected from the urine samples of 49 inpatients and 51 outpatients with UTIs, was assessed by the microtitre plate method. The association between the presence of fimH, papC, sfa/focDE, csgA, crl, afa, flu, and bcsA genes and biofilm formation ability of UPEC was statistically analysed. The genetic relatedness of UPEC isolates was evaluated by the ERIC-PCR.
Overall, 99% of the UPEC isolates showed in vitro biofilm formation ability, and 27% of the isolates were moderate to strong biofilm producers. Only the presence of sfa/focDE gene was significantly associated with moderate and strong biofilm formation by the UPEC isolates. Analysis of dendrograms revealed higher genetic similarities among UPEC isolates of inpatients compared to outpatients.
Based on the results, selection of effective therapeutic approaches, which can affect both biofilm formation and enclosed UPEC, is important for preventing recurrent UTIs. The common UPEC clones among inpatients in different hospital units emphasize the need for more rigid control measures to prevent the spread of UPEC in hospitalized patients and to reduce the occurrence of hospital-acquired UTIs.

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