The global spread of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-E. coli) has largely been driven by the pandemic sequence type 131 (ST131). This study aimed to determine the molecular epidemiology of their spread in two Asian countries with contrasting prevalence. We conducted wholegenome sequencing (WGS) of ESBL-E. coli ST131 strains collected prospectively from Nepal and Japan, two countries in Asia with a high and low prevalence of ESBL-E. coli, respectively. We also systematically compared these genomes with those reported from other regions using publicly available WGS data for E. coli ST131 strains. Further, we conducted phylogenetic analysis of these isolates and all genome sequence data for ST131 strains to determine sequence diversity. One hundred five unique ESBL-E. coli isolates from Nepal (February 2013 to July 2013) and 76 isolates from Japan (October 2013 to September 2014) were included. Of these isolates, 54 (51%) isolates from Nepal and 11 (14%) isolates from Japan were identified as ST131 by WGS. Phylogenetic analysis based on WGS suggested that the majority of ESBL-E. coli ST131 isolates from Nepal clustered together, whereas those from Japan were more diverse. Half of the ESBL-E. coli ST131 isolates from Japan belonged to virotype C, whereas half of the isolates from Nepal belonged to a virotype other than virotype A, B, C, D, or E (A/B/C/D/E). The dominant sublineage of E. coli ST131 was H30Rx, which was most prominent in ESBL-E. coli ST131 isolates from Nepal. Our results revealed distinct phylogenetic characteristics of ESBL-E. coli ST131 spread in the two geographical areas of Asia, indicating the involvement of multiple factors in its local spread in each region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes