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The aim of this study was to construct a valid publicly available method for in silico fimH sub-typing of Escherichia coli particularly suitable for differentiation of fine-resolution subgroups within clonal groups defined by standard multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). FimTyper was constructed as a FASTA database containing all currently known fimH alleles. The software source code is publicly available on, the database freely available at, and a service implementing the software available at was validated on three datasets; (i) containing Sanger sequences of fimH alleles of 42 E. coli isolates generated prior to the current study, (ii) whole-genome sequence data of 243 third-generation cephalosporins-resistant E. coli isolates, and (iii) a randomly chosen subset of 40 E. coli isolates from dataset (ii), which were subjected to conventional fimH sub-typing. The combination of the three datasets enabled an evaluation and comparison of FimTyper on both Sanger sequences and WGS data. FimTyper correctly predicted all 40 fimH sub-types from the Sanger sequences from dataset (i), and successfully analyzed all 243 drafted genomes from dataset (ii). FimTyper sub-typing of the Sanger sequences and WGS data from dataset (iii) were in complete agreement. Additionally, fimH sub-typing was evaluated on a phylogenetic network of 122 ST131 E. coli isolates. There were perfect concordance between the typology and fimH-based sub-clones within ST131 with accurate identification of the pandemic multidrug resistant clonal subgroup ST131-H30. FimTyper provides a standardized tool, as a rapid alternative to conventional fimH sub-typing, highly suitable for surveillance and outbreak detection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2538-2543
StatePublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 5


  • FimH, E. coli, Typing, Whole genome sequencing analysis
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ID: 133984152