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Prevalence of Escherichia coli in Suspected Urinary Tract Infected Patients and Their Sensitivity Pattern Against Various Antibiotics in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan.

Byline: Khalil Ahmed Imran Raja Ishtiaq Hussain Methab Jan Maisoor Ahmed Nafees Zahida Jahan Mohammad Javeed Ghulab Shah and Abdul Latif

Abstract Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the common infections in Asian communities. Distribution and susceptibility of UTI causing pathogens change according to time and place. This study was carried out to assess the prevalence and antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli against various antibiotics at District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital Gilgit amongst 300 suspected UTI patients referred by physicians from July to December 2012. The midstream urine samples were analyzed using a semi-quantitative culture method and uropathogens were identified by WHO guidelines. Out of 300 investigated samples E. coli was isolated in 143 (47.7%) samples while 28 (9.4%) samples showed no growth 26 (8.7%) samples showed mixed growth 32 (10.7%) samples were Klebsiella pneumonia 41 (13.7%) were Enterococci spp. and 30 (10 %) were coagulase negative Staphylococci. In gender wise distribution more females (60%) were referred and infestation of E. coli was also higher in females (66.5%).

The most infective age group was 21-30 years 20 (21.1%). Ceftriaxone was found to be the most effective antibiotic followed by Ciprofloxacin and Cotrimoxazole while Amoxicillin was the least effective amongst our isolates.

Key words: Escherichia coli antibiotic resistance urinary tract infections.


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the third most common infection of humans after respiratory and gastrointestinal infections (Hossain et al. 2013). It has been estimated that about six million patients visit outpatient departments (OPD) and about 300000 are treated in the wards every year for UTI worldwide (Bhat et al. 2011; Prakash and Saxena 2013). The causative agents of UTI are developing resistance against antibiotics and treatment costing the global economy in excess of 6 billion dollars (Gonzalez and Schaeffer 1999).

The prevalence of UTI has been reported in all age groups and in both sexes. However it has been estimated that more than 60% women have UTI at least once in their life time (Foxman 2002; Foxman et al. 2000). It has also been reported that the rate of the infection is 10.57% higher in sexually active females and teenage girls than males and the most common bacteria involved are Escherichia coli (Kumar et al. 2002).

The most common risk factors are female anatomy poor personal hygiene pregnancy urinary tract obstruction long time catheterization urethral reflex spermicidal contraception sexual intercourse and a history of UTIs (Manges et al. 2008; Nahar et al. 2010; Prakash and Saxena 2013). E. coli the most common member of the family Enterobacteriaceae is the main causative agent in more than 80% of all UTIs (Parkash and Saxena 2012; Paryani et al. 2012; Nicolle 2002).

Antibiotics are the only weapons against infections (Erb et al. 2007; Tanvir et al. 2012) but the widespread and easy availability of antibiotics and self medication make UTI a problematic disease to treat. Global research data on UTI showed that the pathogens involved in causing UTI are continuously developing resistance against commonly used conventional drugs and to newer more potent antimicrobial agents (Rajan and Prabavathy 2012). This alarming situation arises due to the frequent misuse of antibiotics inadequate doses and availability of antimicrobials (Tamberkar et al. 2006; Okeke et al. 2000). The antibiotic resistance makes UTI treatment more complicated and necessitates the careful use of antibiotics along with the formulations of a new one (Hasan et al. 2007). The aim of the present study was to find the distribution of pathogenic E. coli causing UTI in the human population of district Gilgit and to determine antimicrobial resistance pattern using the disc diffusion method

(Bauer et al. 1996). This study is also important for clinicians in order to facilitate the empirical therapy of patients where diagnostic facilities are lacking. Moreover the data would also be helpful to the authorities formulate antibiotic prescription policies.


Urine samples collection

From July to December 2012 300 suspected UTI infected patients were referred by physicians of District Headquarter Hospital Gilgit. Their early morning midstream urine sample was collected in open mouth sterilized plastic containers and cultured within 4 h.

Sample dispensation and microbial growth

The urine samples were cultured according to the WHO Manual for Laboratory Investigations of Acute Enteric Infections (WHO Manual CDD/83.3) for isolation of pathogenic bacteria in four quadrants on Cysteine Lactose Electrolyte Deficient (CLED) agar by Standard Calibrated Technique (0.01 ml) (Thomson and Miller 2003) and incubated at 37C for 24 h. The incubation was extended for a further 24 h if growth of bacteria was negative. E. coli ATCC 25922 was used as the standard reference strain. After overnight incubation the CLED agar plates were examined for significant growth of microorganisms (pure growth and greater than 20 colonies).

Isolation and identification of bacteria

Based on coloney forming units th UTI diagnosis was performed where the significant bacterial counts were between 1000-10000 cfu/ml (Stewardson et al. 2011). Whereas the identification of organisms was done by using general biochemical tests viz. oxidase catalase coagulase urease kliger iron agar citrate and SIM (sulphate-indole-motility agar).

Antibiotic sensitivity test

The antibiotic sensitivity was performed for confirmed pathogenic E. coli by the standard Kirby Bauer's disc diffusion method (Bauer et al. 1996) and the results were interpreted by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI 2012). Discs with 4 broad spectrum drugs Ampicillin Group (Amoxicillin 30 g) Cephalosporin Group (Cephradine 30g Ceftrizone 30g Naldixic Acid 30g and Pipedimic Acid 30g and cefaclor 30g) Quinolone Group (Ciprofloxacin 5ug) was also used to sustain the quality of the resistance test in each batch of E. coli ATCC 25922.


Table I shows the age and gender wise distribution of the suspected UTI patients referred to laboratory for bacteriological investigation. The highest number of patients referred were in the age group 21- 30 followed by 31- 40 41-50 11-20 51 - 60 61- 70 0 10 and greater than 70 age group. In all the age groups the number of female patients was higher compared to the male patients. Figure 1 shows the antibiotic sensitivity pattern of various antibiotics used against 143 E. coli isolated from suspected UTI patients. Out of 8 used antibiotics ceftriaxone 118 (82.5%) is highly sensitive followed by pipedimic acid 55 (38.5%) ciprofloxacin 41 (29.7%) co-trimaxazole 40 (28.0%) nalidixic acid 34 (23.8%) cefaclor 33 (23.1%) cephradine 27 (18.9% and amoxicillin 09 (6.3%). Ciprofloxacin was tested against 138 E. coli isolates and sensitivity pattern was 41 (29.7%).

The isolated E. coli strains were highly resistant to amoxicillin 134 (93.7%) followed by cephradine 116 (81.1%) cefaclor 110 (76.9%) nalidixic acid 109 (76.2%) co-trimaxazole 103 (72.0%) ciprofloxacin 97 (70.3%) pipedimic acid 88 (61.5%) and ceftrixone 25 (17.5%).

Mean number of strains tested against antibiotics 97.7511.44 and 44.6211.50 were reported for resistance and sensitivity to E. coli isolates respectively. The chi-square test for heterogeneity showed the chi-square value 13.07 for amoxicillin (30 g) followed by 3.23 for cephradine (30 ug) and showed significant differences for antibiotics (p-value 0.001) at pless than 0.05. Data presented

Table I.- Distribution of Suspected UTI patients investigated by age and sex-wise distribution of patients infected with Escherichia coli.

Age (Years)###No. of cases investigated for infestation of E. coli###No. of cases infected with E. coli###.


0 10###12 (04.0%)###05 (04.2%)###07 (03.9%)###08 (05.6%)###03 (06.25%)###05 (05.3%)

11 20###44 (14.7%)###17 (14.2%)###27 (15.0%)###23 (16.1%)###07 (14.6%)###16 (16.9%)

21 30###77 (25.7%)###30 (25%)###46 (25.6%)###35 (24.5%)###10 (20.9%)###25 (26.3%)

31 40###68 (22.7%)###29 (24.2%)###40 (22.3%)###31 (21.7%)###11 (22.9%)###20 (21.1%)

41 50###45 (08.4%)###19 (15.9%)###26 (14.5%)###22 (15.4%)###08 (16.7%)###14 (14.7%)

51 60###26 (08.7%)###10 (08.4%)###15 (08.4%)###12 (08.4%)###04 (08.4%)###00 (08.4%)

61 70###24 (08%)###10 (08.4%)###17 (09.5%)###10 (07.0%)###04(08.4%)###06 (06.3%)

reater than 70###04 (01.4%)###00 (00.0%)###02 (01.1%)###02 (01.4%)###01 (02.1%)###01 (01.1%)

Total###300###120 (40%)###180 (60%)###143(47.7%)###48 (33.6%)###95 (66.5%)

in Table II revealed that it was highly significant (p value 0.00) and most common in two age groups with values of X2=45.60 for females and X2= 30.40 for males in the age group of 21-30 years at pless than 0.05.


Urinary tract infection is a medical condition which needs the proper identification of causative agents and their antibiotic sensitivity profiles is very important for the development and administration of successful local and global treatments. Gram negative bacteria have several attachment and invasion properties of the human urothelium in contrast to Gram positive pathogens. The UTI bacterial isolates in Yoon et al. (2011) and Akram et al. (2007) studies detected only Gram negative bacteria.

Table II. Chi-sqaure test for UTI pateitns (male and female) in different age groups

E. coli the most common member of the family Enterobacteriaceae accounts for 75-90% of all UTIs in both inpatient and out-patients (Dromigny et al. 2005). The presence of E. coli in the gastrointestinal tract is the primary source of UTI (Sharma et al. 2013; Raksha et al. 2003). Khadka et al. (2012) conducted a study in Nepal and showed that out of 116 organisms 19 were Gram negative and only 18 were Gram positive.

The results of our study show that E. coli is dominant (47.7%) compared to other causative agents. Similar results have been obtained in Nepal (Khadka et al. 2012; Sharma et al. 2013; Chaudhry et al. 2012) Kashmir (Ahmad 2012) South India (Razak and Gurushantappa 2012) Sindh Pakistan (Paryani et al. 2012) and Gilgit (Ahmed and Imran 2008). In this study incidence is significantly higher in females (66.5%) compared to males (33.6%).

Similar findings of high infestation was found in Nepal (Sharma et al. (2013) Chaudhry et al. (2012) and Khadka et al. (2012) Kashir (Ahmad 2012) South India (Razak and Gurushantappa 2012). The reason for the high incidence and therefore the risk of UTI in females is due to their urinary tract anatomy and poor personal hygiene (Prakash and Saxena 2013).

In our study in age wise distribution the incidence is much more common in the age group 21-30 years as compared to other age groups. In this age group out of 35 patients 25 (26.3%) were females and only 10 (20.9%) were males.

These results have been endorsed by Ahmad (2012) in his study conducted in Kashmir Razak and Gurushantappa (2012) in his study in South India and Khadka et al. (2012) in their studies conducted in Nepal. In this age group females are much more sexually active; moreover use of spermicidal contraception sexual intercourse and pregnancy make them even more at risk.

In our study the most sensitive drug of choice for treatment of UTI patients due to E. coli is ceftrixone i.e. 82.5% (118/143) and most resistant drug is amoxicillin 93.7 (134/143) ciprofloxacin is 70.3% (97/138) and nalidixic acid 76.2% (143/109) and co-trimaxole 72% (103/143). The E. coli isolates from UTI patients for the above antibiotics are more resistant than the strains isolated by Ahmad et al. (2012) in Kashmiri patients and Sharma et al. (2013) and Khadka et al. (2012) in Nepal.This high pattern of resistance is due to self medication and improper use. In our area women are shy and reserved and tend to self medicate at home. Additionally they stop the antibiotic treatment when they feel relief from pain without completing the full dose.

Proper treatment and bacterial strains isolated from UTI patients are highly resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Ahmed and Imran (2008) also found E. coli strains with high antibiotic resistance in their studies.


We are very grateful to Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Nazeem Khan and Pathologists Dr. Ghulab Shah and Dr. Abdul Latif DHQ Hospital Gilgit for their support and providing laboratory services to carry out this study effectively.


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Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2014
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