This study was designed to compare virulence factors of cellulitis-derived Escherichia coli to colisepticemic E. coli in order to clarify whether E. coli associated with cellulitis comprise a unique subset of pathogenic E. coli. Isolates were tested for serotype, capsule, aerobactin production, colicin production, the presence of the iss gene, and serum resistance. Untypable isolates made up the greatest percentage of each group. Serotypes O2 and O78 were the most commonly identified among both groups of isolates. No statistical differences in the distribution of aerobactin or colicin production, capsule, or iss gene were observed between groups. Cluster analysis showed that 90% of the E. coli isolates had greater than 42% livability in serum-resistance tests. No separation of colisepticemic vs. cellulitis E. coli isolates was observed on the basis of SR. Colicin production by E. coli was highly correlated with serum resistance (P = 0.0029). These data suggest that cellulitis E. coli have virulence traits similar to those of colisepticemic E. coli.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1