Introduction: Escherichia coli (E. coli) is considered one of the most frequent intestinal and extraintestinal pathogen.
Methods: A total of 49 isolates of E. coli were collected from different clinical samples, from different hospitals in Northern West Bank-Palestine, during January-March 2019.
Aims: To detect the distribution of Type III secretion system (T3SS) genes, class 1, 2 and 3 integrons, virulence factors (fyuA, papGIII, iutA and sfa⁄foc) using multiplex PCR and antibiotic resistance using disc diffusion method.
Results: In this study, E. coli isolates showed high resistance rate against different types of antibiotics and 71.4% of the isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR). Only class 1 integron was detected in these isolates with prevalence 57%, and 65.7% of MDR isolates carried integron genes. The prevalence of T3SS genes was 0.0%. In addition, results of this study showed that the prevalence of virulence genes papGIII, sfa⁄foc, fyuA and iutA was 4.1%, 40%, 64%, and 79.6%, respectively.
Conclusions: The isolates of E. coli showed high resistance rate against different types of antibiotics. The co-occurrence of class 1 integrons and antimicrobial resistance genes in these isolates is an additional threat for spread of the antimicrobial resistance traits which may further complicate future strategies for treatment the infections caused by this pathogen. In addition, E. coli isolated from Palestinian patients showed one or more virulence factors that could increase their pathogenic potential.