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Keywords:

  • genital tract;
  • pregnant women;
  • Escherichia coli;
  • virulence factors

Abstract

Escherichia coli are enteric Gram-negative bacilli that can colonize the female genital tract and become implicated in different infections in pregnant women, including intra-amniotic infection, puerperal infections and neonatal infections. The virulence profiles of E. coli isolates from vaginal swabs from pregnant and nonpregnant women were compared. The hly-, cnf-, pap- and iroN-genes were found significantly more frequently in E. coli isolated from pregnant women in comparison with those isolated from nonpregnant women. Escherichia coli from pregnant women seem to be more virulent than from nonpregnant women developing severe infections, thereby increasing possible neonatal sepsis.