We investigated phylogenetic affiliation, occurrence of virulence genes and quinolone resistance in 109 integron-containing strains of Escherichia coli isolated from a wastewater treatment plant. Selection for integron-bearing strains caused a shift toward phylogroup D, which was most numerous, followed by A, B1 and B2. Phylogroups D and B2, both of which are reported to include virulent extraintestinal pathotypes, made up 50.5% of all isolates and were present in every stage of wastewater treatment, including final effluent. Diarrheagenic pathotypes made up 21% of the strains. The average virulence factor genes score was low (1.40) and the range was from 0 to 5. Quinolone and fluoroquinolone resistance was observed in 56.0% and 50.4% of the strains, respectively; however, it was not associated with virulence factor score. Although the average virulence factor score was low, 17.4% of strains had three and more virulence genes. They were isolated mostly from raw sewage, but 30% of them were cultured from final effluent. Release of multiresistant integron-bearing E. coli strains with virulence traits into the environment may create potential threat and be of public health concern
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