A total of 296 E. coli strains isolated from hospitalized patients with urinary tract infection were included in this study. These strains were tested for their resistance to 22 antimicrobial drugs and the presence of ESBLs genes coding for TEM, SHV, OXA, and CTX-M. We further characterized them for their interaction with a renal cell line (A-498) and a gastrointestinal cell line (Caco-2). Strains were also typed using a combination of RAPD-PCR, PhP-typing and phylogenetic grouping. Only eight strains (2.7 %) were confirmed as ESBLs producers. The most common clonal type contained 35 isolates and only two of them were ESBLs producers and both showed a high degree of adhesion to both cell lines but only one was able to translocate in Caco-2 cells. These strains belonged to phylogenetic group B2, were resistant to nine antibiotics and carried CTX-M-type of ESBL. The remaining six strains belonged to single clones with different phylogenetic groups and ESBL genotypes and were resistant to between 12 and 15 antibiotics. They also showed a high rate of adhesion to A-498 cells (19 +/- 2 to 35 +/- 3 CFU/cell) and all translocated in this cell line. The rate of adhesion of ESBL-producing strains to Caco-2 cells (11 +/- 3.4 CFU/cell) was significantly lower than A-498 cells (26 +/- 8 CFU/cell) (p = 0.0002) and only four of them translocated in Caco-2 cells. Our results suggest that the ESBL-producing clones of E. coli have a potential to translocate and cause septicemia in hospitalized patients with UTI.