http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech/science/one-strain-of-e-coli-causes-majority-of-bacterial-infections/article/364267

One strain of E.coli causes majority of bacterial infections

Posted Dec 19, 2013 by Tim Sandle
A single strain of Escherichia coli has become the main cause of bacterial infections in women and the elderly by invading the bladder and kidneys worldwide, according to a new study.
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Luke Jerram
The identified strain of Escherichia coli responsible for a high incidence of infections is strain H30-Rx. This type of E. coli gained an ability to spread from the urinary tract to the blood, leading to a higher occurrence of sepsis. Worryingly H30-Rx, appears to be much more adept than other E. coli at ascending from the bladder to the kidneys and then into the bloodstream.
The identification of the ubiquitous and virulent strain was undertaken using advanced genomic techniques. Researchers analysed E. coli samples from patients and animals in five countries over 44 years, 1967-2011to arrive at their conclusion. In many ways this strain deserves the mantle of ‘superbug’.
Discussing the findings, Dr. David Samadi, chairman of urology, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Health Daily: “With the wide spread presence of antibiotic resistance in E. coli, it is making infections more difficult to treat and is leading to increased mortality. H30-Rx may provide opportunities for vaccine or prevention strategies, which could play a huge part as E. coli [strains] become resistant to our best antibiotics.”
The new data will help medical professions to trace global incidents of the bacterium and to manage outbreaks.
The findings have been published in the journal mBio in a paper titled “The epidemic of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli ST131 is driven by a single highly pathogenic subclone, H30-Rx”.