Phylogenetic group and virulence profile classification in Escherichia coli from distinct isolation sources in Mexico

José R Aguirre-Sánchez, José B Valdez-Torres, Nohemí Castro Del Campo, Jaime Martínez-Urtaza, Nohelia Castro Del Campo, Bertram G Lee, Beatriz Quiñones, Cristóbal Chaidez-Quiroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Escherichia coli is a leading cause of human enteric diseases worldwide. The rapid and accurate causal agent identification to a particular source represents a crucial step in the establishment of safety and health measures in the affected human populations and would thus provide insights into the relationship of traits that may contribute for pathogen persistence in a particular reservoir. The objective of the present study was to characterize over two hundred E. coli strains from different isolation sources in Mexico by conducting a correspondence analysis to explore associations with the detected phylogenetic groups. The results indicated that E. coli strains, recovered from distinct sources in Mexico, were classified into phylogroups B1 (35.8%), A (27.8%), and D (12.3%) and were clustered to particular clades according to the predicted phylogroups. The results from correspondence analysis showed that E. coli populations from distinct sources in Mexico, belonging to different phylogroups, were not dispersed randomly and were associated with a particular isolation source. Phylogroup A was strongly associated with human sources, and the phylogroup B1 showed a significant relationship with food sources. Additionally, phylogroup D was also related to human sources. Phylogroup B2 was associated with herbivorous and omnivorous mammals. Moreover, common virulence genes in the examined E. coli strains, assigned to all phylogroups, were identified as essential markers for survival and invasion in the host. Although virulence profiles varied among the detected phylogroups, E. coli strains belonging to phylogroup D, associated with humans, were found to contain the largest virulence gene repertoire conferring for persistence and survival in the host. In summary, these findings provide fundamental information for a better characterization of pathogenic E. coli, recovered from distinct isolation sources in Mexico and would assist in the development of better tools for identifying potential transmission routes of contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105380
Number of pages8
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Early online date22 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Correspondence analysis
  • E. coli
  • Genomics
  • Mexico
  • Phylogroups
  • Virulence


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