The replacement of the bladder with a neobladder made from ileal tissue is the prescribed treatment in some cases of bladder cancer or trauma. Studies have demonstrated that individuals with an ileal neobladder have recurrent colonization by Escherichia coli and other species that are commonly associated with urinary tract infections; however, pyelonephritis and complicated symptomatic infections with ileal neobladders are relatively rare. This study examines the genomic content of two E. coli isolates from individuals with neobladders using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) with a pan-E. coli/Shigella microarray. Comparisons of the neobladder genome hybridization patterns with reference genomes demonstrate that the neobladder isolates are more similar to the commensal, laboratory-adapted E. coli and a subset of enteroaggregative E. coli than they are to uropathogenic E. coli isolates. Genes identified by CGH as exclusively present in the neobladder isolates among the 30 examined isolates were primarily from large enteric isolate plasmids. Isolations identified a large plasmid in each isolate, and sequencing confirmed similarity to previously identified plasmids of enteric species. Screening, via PCR, of more than 100 isolates of E. coli from environmental, diarrhoeagenic and urinary tract sources did not identify neobladder-specific genes that were widely distributed in these populations. These results taken together demonstrate that the neobladder isolates, while distinct, are genomically more similar to gastrointestinal or commensal E. coli, suggesting why they can colonize the transplanted intestinal tissue but rarely progress to acute pyelonephritis or more severe disease.
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