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Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis from humans and retail red meat
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The emergence of antimicrobial-resistant and virulent enterococci is a major public health concern. While enterococci are commonly found in food of animal origin, the knowledge on their zoonotic potential is limited. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence traits of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium isolates from human clinical specimens and retail red meat in Slovenia. A total of 242 isolates were investigated: 101 from humans (71 E. faecalis, 30 E. faecium) and 141 from fresh beef and pork (120 E. faecalis, 21 E. faecium). The susceptibility to 12 antimicrobials was tested using a broth microdilution method, and the presence of seven common virulence genes was investigated using PCR. In both species, the distribution of several resistance phenotypes and virulence genes was disparate for isolates of different origin. All isolates were susceptible to daptomycin, linezolid, teicoplanin, and vancomycin. In both species, the susceptibility to antimicrobials was strongly associated with a food origin and the multidrug resistance, observed in 29.6% of E. faecalis and 73.3% E. faecium clinical isolates, with a clinical origin (Fisher’s exact test). Among meat isolates, in total 66.0% of E. faecalis and E. faecium isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobials tested and 32.6% were resistant to either one or two antimicrobials. In E. faecalis, several virulence genes were significantly associated with a clinical origin; the most common (31.0%) gene pattern included all the tested genes except hyl. In meat isolates, the virulence genes were detected in E. faecalis only and the most common pattern included ace, efaA, and gelE (32.5%), of which gelE showed a statistically significant association with a clinical origin. These results emphasize the importance of E. faecalis in red meat as a reservoir of virulence genes involved in its persistence and human infections with reported severe outcomes.
Anti-bacterial agents - pharmacology
drug resistance bacterial - genetics
Enterococcus faecalis - genetics - drug effects - growth & development
Enterococcus faecium - genetics - drug effects - growth & development
virulence factors - genetics
meat - microbiology
vancomycin resistance - genetics
1.01 - Original Scientific Article
VF - Veterinary Faculty
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Vol. 2019, art. ID 2815279
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Record is a part of a journal
BioMed research international
Biomed Res Int
Hindawi Pub. Co.
Document is financed by a project
ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Zdravje živali, okolje in varna hrana
CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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