Escherichia coli ST131: a model for high-risk transmission dynamics of antimicrobial resistance (ST131TS)




This project has connected many transnational academic resources to investigate the transmission success of the Escherichia coli ST131 clone. E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract and bloodstream infections worldwide. Resistance to widely used antibiotics for the treating E. coli infections is common and widespread.

Completed project

A single E. coli clone, ST131, is mainly responsible for this global AMR pandemic causing millions of antibiotic-resistant infections annually. It remains unclear which features of ST131 had resulted in the biggest antimicrobial resistance succes of the 2000s.

The ST131TS project created a combined European-Canadian consortium that investigated the transmission dynamics of ST131. The study explored transmission of resistance and virulence genes and how they contributed to the success of ST131. The project also investigated transmission of ST131 among humans, animals and different environments.

The project has showed that ST131 is a public health concern in Canada and Europe and has provided information to better understand the spread and managing infections due to multidrug resistant E. coli. Only by understanding how antibiotic resistance evolves and spreads in bacterial populations, can we begin to overcome such resistance.

ST131 adapts rapidly to environmental changes; we need to know why and how. This project will serve as a model to predict what can possibly happen in the future with the continuing emergence of multidrug resistant clones among bacteria.

ST131TS project logo

Project partners

  • Johan Pitout,University of Calgary, Canada (Coordinator)
  • Neil Woodford, ARHI-UK, United Kingdom
  • Fernando Baquero, Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS), Spain
  • Marie-Hélène Nicolas-Chanoine, Beaujon Hospital/ Paris VII University, France
  • Laurent Poirel, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Alvaro Pascual, Fundación Púbica para la Gestión de la Investigación de Salud en Sevilla, Spain
  • Jean-Yves Madec, National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), France
  • Tarah Lynch, University of Calgary, Canada

Project resources