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Among the bacteria of the Providencia genus, the Providencia stuartii species stands out as the most responsible for infections. This Gram-negative bacterium belongs to the order Enterobacteriales and family Morganellacea. It is a flagellate bacillus, facultative anaerobe and can be found in the microbiota of several animals. However, it is considered an opportunistic pathogen that causes nosocomial infections, with urinary tract infection being the most frequent. Despite being a known pathogen, little is known so far about which genes are related to virulence factors present in this bacterial species. Thus, the present study aimed to evaluate the presence of genes related to virulence factors in 21 clinical isolates of P. stuartii obtained from urinary infections, and isolated in a hospital in northern Paraná, Brazil. These samples were isolated from 2014 to 2017. For the identification of genes related to virulence factors in P. stuartii, the sequenced genome of the isolate ATCC 33672 was submitted to in silico analysis to identify virulence factors in the Virulence Factor of Pathogenic Bacteria (VFDB) platform. Six genes commonly found in enterobacteria were selected, the fimA, mrkA, iutA, fptA, ireA and hlyA genes, chosen for their high identity with the analyzed genome. To verify the presence of these genes, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed. The generated fragments were observed in 1% agarose gel and observed via ultraviolet light transilluminator. The results obtained showed that 100% of the isolates were positive to the genes fimA, mrkA, iutA, fptA, ireA and hlyA. The fimA and mrkA genes encode structural subunits of type 1 and type 3 fimbriae, respectively, responsible for enabling initial adhesion to host cells and also for enabling adhesion and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces. The iutA, fptA, ireA genes encode siderophore receptors, which are responsible for iron uptake in environments where this element is in low availability. The hlyA gene encodes a hemolysin, responsible for the lysis of red blood cells and which also has cytolytic activity against other cell types. It can be concluded from the results obtained that the P. stuartii isolates studied presented genes encoding several virulence factors. These factors contribute to the pathogenesis and during the infection process.

  • 1 Centro de Ciências Biológicas / Universidade Estadual de Londrina
  • 2 Universidade Estadual de Londrina
  • 3 Departamento de Microbiologia / Centro de Ciências Biológicas / Universidade Estadual de Londrina
  • 4 UNIFIL / Centro Universitário Filadélfia
  • Microbiologia Médica Humana