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Extended-spectrum-beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL E. coli) strains are of major concern because few antibiotics remain active against these bacteria. We investigated the association between the fecal relative abundance (RA) of ESBL-producing E. coli (ESBL-RA) and the occurrence of ESBL E. coli urinary tract infections (UTIs). The first stool samples passed after suspicion of UTI from 310 women with subsequently confirmed E. coli UTIs were sampled and tested for ESBL-RA by culture on selective agar. Predictive values of ESBL-RA for ESBL E. coli UTI were analyzed for women who were not exposed to antibiotics when the stool was passed. ESBL E. coli isolates were characterized for ESBL type, phylogroup, relatedness, and virulence factors. The prevalence of ESBL E. coli fecal carriage was 20.3%, with ESBL E. coli UTIs being present in 12.3% of the women. The mean ESBL-RA (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 13-fold higher in women exposed to antibiotics at the time of sampling than in those not exposed (14.3% [range, 5.6% to 36.9%] versus 1.1% [range, 0.32% to 3.6%], respectively; P < 0.001) and 18-fold higher in women with ESBL E. coli UTI than in those with another E. coli UTI (10.0% [range, 0.54% to 100%] versus 0.56% [range, 0.15% to 2.1%[, respectively; P < 0.05). An ESBL-RA of <0.1% was 100% predictive of a non-ESBL E. coli UTI. ESBL type, phylogroup, relatedness, and virulence factors were not found to be associated with ESBL-RA. In conclusion, ESBL-RA was linked to the occurrence of ESBL E. coli UTI in women who were not exposed to antibiotics and who had the same clone of E. coli in urine samples and fecal samples. Especially, a low ESBL-RA appeared to be associated with a low risk of ESBL E. coli infection.

Original publication





Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Publication Date





4512 - 4517


EA3964, Faculté de Médecine Paris Diderot, Paris, France.


Urinary Tract, Feces, Humans, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Infections, Urinary Tract Infections, beta-Lactamases, Virulence Factors, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacterial Typing Techniques, Cross-Sectional Studies, Gene Expression, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Bacterial Load