Detection of the macrolide-efflux protein A gene mef(A) in enterococcus faecalis

Karin Schwaiger, Christina Hölzel, Johann Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mef(A) gene codes for an efflux protein that conveys resistance to 14- and 15-membered macrolides. Enterococci are emerging pathogens, as well as indicator and reservoir bacteria that are known to have a strong tendency to acquire resistance genes. A total of 485 Enterococcus faecalis strains of porcine (n=239) and human origin (n=246) were screened for the presence of the mef(A) gene by using polymerase chain reaction. In total, 29 E. faecalis of porcine (n=10) and human (n=19) origin were positive for the presence of the mef(A) gene. Most of the mef(A)-containing strains were isolated from fecal samples of healthy individuals; only one strain originated from a stool sample of a diseased pig. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the occurrence of the mef(A) gene in E. faecalis apart from mating experiments. The main clinical relevance of this study is that donor E. faecalis might transfer the mef(A) gene to recipients that are usually combated with macrolides. Hence, the role of E. faecalis as a resistance reservoir with respect to limited treatment options are a cause for concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-432
Number of pages4
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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