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Open Access Detection of bacteriocin production and virulence traits in vancomycin-resistant enterococci of different sources

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Abstract Aim: 

Three hundred and two enterococci were isolated from food, animal and clinical samples in order to evaluate the incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and bacteriocin, cytolysin, haemolysin, gelatinase production. Methods and Results: 

Among the isolates, 27 (8·9%) were VRE, and 17 (63%) of these showed, by the deferred antagonism method, bacteriocin production against Gram-positive and some Gram-negative indicators. Eight bacteriocin producers displayed by polymerase chain reaction an enterocin structural gene: six Enterococcus faecium the Enterocin A, two Enterococcus faecalis the Enterocin P genes. The enterocins AS-48, 31, L50 and 1071A/B genes were not found. Regarding the virulence factors, two VRE produced gelatinase and seven were haemolytic. Gelatinase gelE gene was found in 19 strains and cytolysin cylLL gene in eight. Among the strains showing the cylLL gene, only two E. faecalis expressed a β-haemolysis. Conclusions: 

Our results showed the persistence of VRE in food, animal and clinical samples. Many of these strains displayed antibacterial activity and sometimes different components of virulence, which could emphasize their pathogenicity. Significance and Impact of the Study: 

This work indicates the need of a constant monitoring of enterococci in order to assess their possible pathogenic properties. The strains of interest in the food industry or used as probiotics should be tested for antibiotic resistance and virulence traits.
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Keywords: bacteriocin; enterococci; gelatinase; haemolysis; vancomycin-resistant enterococci

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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