Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) is an established diarrhoeagenic pathotype. The association with virulence gene content and ability to cause disease has been studied but little is known about the population structure of EAEC and how this pathotype evolved. Analysis by Multi Locus Sequence Typing of 564 EAEC isolates from cases and controls in Bangladesh, Nigeria and the UK spanning the past 29 years, revealed multiple successful lineages of EAEC. The population structure of EAEC indicates some clusters are statistically associated with disease or carriage, further highlighting the heterogeneous nature of this group of organisms. Different clusters have evolved independently as a result of both mutational and recombination events; the EAEC phenotype is distributed throughout the population of E. coli.
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Chattaway, M. A.; Jenkins, C.; Rajendram, D.; Cravioto, A.; Talukder, K. A.; Dallman, T.; Underwood, A.; Platt, S.; Okeke, I. N.; Wain, J. "Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Have Evolved Independently as Distinct Complexes within the E-coli Population with Varying Ability to Cause Disease" 9 (11): Article No. e112967. 2014.