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Virulence factors associated with organisms causing asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnant females attending a tertiary care hospital

Prabha Ponnusamy*, Radhika Katragadda, Thyagarajan Ravinder


Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB), most common during pregnancy is endangering as it may lead to maternal and fetal complications. Various organisms causing ASB combats the host defense mechanisms through virulence factors exhibited by them. In order to understand the pathogenesis and sequelae of infections, virulence factors like hemolysin production, gelatinase production, haemagglutination, biofilm production and many more should be identified. Hence, we aimed at studying the distribution of virulence factors among each organism causing asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnant females attending a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Department of Microbiology over a period of one year and six months (January 2014 to June 2015) at a tertiary care teaching hospital. A total of 1000 urine samples were included in study taken from pregnant women with asymptomatic bacteriuria. Isolation, identification of organisms was done according to standard microbiological techniques and virulence factors for individual organisms by phenotypic method were tested. Results: Out of 1000 samples screened for ASB, organisms were isolated in following frequency distribution: Escherichia coli, the commonest 54/118 (45.76%), Klebsiella pneumoniae 21/118 (17.80%), Staphylococcus aureus 19/118 (16.10%), Staphylococcus saprophyticus 10/118 (8.45%), Enterococcus faecalis 9/118 (7.63%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa 3/118 (2.54%) and Proteus mirabilis 2/118 (1.69%). Virulence factors for individual organisms and biofilm detection for all organisms were done. Conclusion: Multifactorial mechanisms determine the pathogenicity of an organism and it needs to be explored by analyzing each virulence factor and mechanism of invasion in combating the host defense systems. Hence analyzing the phenotypic expression of each virulence factor helps in better understanding about the complications of ASB.


Asymptomatic bacteriuria; Virulence factors; Pregnancy

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