Phenotypic characteristics and population genetics of Enterococcus faecalis cultured from patients in Tehran during 2000-2001.
ABSTRACT Conventional bacteriology techniques were used to identify enterococci isolates cultured from patients at different hospitals in Tehran during 2000-2001. The identification was confirmed using species-specific PCR targeting the D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase gene. A total of 59 isolates of Enterococcus faecalis were identified. The rates of resistance to different antibiotics were in the following order: penicillin 84%, ciprofloxacin 42%, high-level gentamicin 30%, nitrofurantoin 14%, imipenem 4%, and chloramphenicol 2%. Resistance to ampicillin was found to be rare among the Iranian isolates of E. faecalis. Multi-locus enzyme electrophoresis was then used to analyze the strains. Forty-five electrophoretic types were obtained when 10 enzyme loci were screened. Although the collection of bacterial isolates was limited in time and location, considerable heterogeneity was found. Analysis of strains for linkage disequilibrium demonstrated that the studied population is not clonal, since the index of association was not significantly different from zero (Ia = 0.0296). Enterococcus faecalis isolates recovered from patients in Tehran were genetically diverse and seemed to possess a high potential for genetic recombinations, though none were resistant to vancomycin.
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ABSTRACT: Enterococci are used as starter and probiotic cultures in foods, and they occur as natural food contaminants. The genus Enterococcus is of increased significance as a cause of nosocomial infections, and this trend is exacerbated by the development of antibiotic resistance. In this study, we investigated the incidence of known virulence determinants in starter, food, and medical strains of Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, and E. durans. PCR and gene probe strategies were used to screen enterococcal isolates from both food and medical sources. Different and distinct patterns of incidence of virulence determinants were found for the E. faecalis and E. faecium strains. Medical E. faecalis strains had more virulence determinants than did food strains, which, in turn, had more than did starter strains. All of the E. faecalis strains tested possessed multiple determinants (between 6 and 11). E. faecium strains were generally free of virulence determinants, with notable exceptions. Significantly, esp and gelE determinants were identified in E. faecium medical strains. These virulence determinants have not previously been identified in E. faecium strains and may result from regional differences or the evolution of pathogenic E. faecium. Phenotypic testing revealed the existence of apparently silent gelE and cyl genes. In E. faecalis, the trend in these silent genes mirrors that of the expressed determinants. The potential for starter strains to acquire virulence determinants by natural conjugation mechanisms was investigated. Transconjugation in which starter strains acquired additional virulence determinants from medical strains was demonstrated. In addition, multiple pheromone-encoding genes were identified in both food and starter strains, indicating their potential to acquire other sex pheromone plasmids. These results suggest that the use of Enterococcus spp. in foods requires careful safety evaluation.Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2001; 67(4):1628-35. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cell-density-dependent regulatory controls have been recognized in recent years to play major roles with regard to many microorganisms. In gram-negative bacteria very often N-acyl-homoserine lactones act as 'quorum-sensing' regulators, whilst gram-positive bacteria mainly use peptides to monitor their cell density. The so-called sex pheromone system of Enterococcus faecalis is just one example of the latter type of regulation. The system is a complex one; in this communication, I will discuss in particular the potential role of the peptides to also act as virulence factors.Research in Microbiology 01/2000; 151(6):493-6. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Broad-range 16S rDNA PCR (BR-PCR) applied to DNA from 32 clinical enterococcal isolates and 12 other enterococci from a clinical reference collection followed by species-specific hybridization analysis identified 25 strains of Enterococcus faecalis and 19 Enterococcus species. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis using UPGMA clustering on the same material revealed four different clusters at a similarity level of 49%. Based on partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis of variable regions V4 and V9, it was possible to divide the 19 type strains specifying the genus Enterococcus into 12 different 16S rDNA species groups. The type strain distribution then served as a template for the analysis of the other 44 strains which were assigned to four different species groups (a-d) based on their 16S rDNA motifs. There was good agreement with the RAPD clusters. Species group a was an individual species line containing 25 strains that were identified as E. faecalis. Group b also represented an individual species line of 12 strains identified as E. faecium. The remaining seven strains that formed species groups c and d could not be fully identified to species by this analysis. It was concluded that BR-PCR of 16S rDNA followed by partial sequence analysis of the PCR products is a reliable technique for the identification and classification of enterococci. Further division of unresolved species groups should be achievable if regions other than V4 and V9 of 16S rDNA are also analysed.Microbiology 06/1998; 144 ( Pt 5):1171-9. · 2.85 Impact Factor