• Human;
  • Dog;
  • Cat;
  • papG allele;
  • Escherichia coli


The distribution of alleles I, II and III of the P adhesin gene papG among Escherichia coli isolated from urinary tract infections in humans, dogs and cats was studied by PCR. Allele I was present in 6% and 5% of the human and cat isolates. Allele II as such was present in 30% and 22%, or in association with allele III in 12% and 2% of the human and canine isolates, respectively. Allele III was present in 33% of the human strains and predominated largely over allele II in E. coli isolates from cystitis of animal origin (72% in dog and 95% in cat strains). The three different classes of the PapG adhesin have been suggested to play a role in host specificity, for example human versus canine specificity. Recent studies, however, showed papG III positive human and dog cystitis isolates to be largely indistinguishable. We found the Class II allele in animal isolates and detected for the first time in Europe the Class I allele in a different genetic background than the J96-like clonal group. Our findings show that uropathogenic E. coli isolates from different species can have the same papG alleles and thus may have zoonotic potential.