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Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Aug;46(8):2648-52. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.04.021. Epub 2008 Apr 25.

Risk factors in enterococci isolated from foods in Morocco: determination of antimicrobial resistance and incidence of virulence traits.

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  • 1Area de Microbiología, Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, University of Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain.


A collection of enterococci isolated from meat, dairy and vegetable foods from Morocco including 23 Enterococus faecalis and 15 Enterococcus faecium isolates was studied. All isolates were sensitive to ampicillin, penicillin, and gentamicin. Many E. faecalis isolates were resistant to tetracycline (86.95%), followed by rifampicin (78.26% ciprofloxacin (60.87%), quinupristin/dalfopristin (56.52%), nitrofurantoin (43.47%), levofloxacin (39.13%), erythromycin (21.73%), streptomycin (17.39%), chloramphenicol (8.69%), vancomycin (8.69%), and teicoplanin (4.34%). E. faecium isolates showed a different antibiotic resistance profile: a high percentage were resistant to nitrofurantoin (73.33%), followed by erythromycin (66.60%), ciprofloxacin (66.66%), levofloxacin (60.00%), and rifampicin (26.66%), and only a very low percentage were resistant to tetracycline (6.66%). One isolate was resistant to vancomycin and teicoplanin. The incidence of virulence factors was much higher among E. faecalis isolates, especially for genes encoding for sex pheromones, collagen adhesin, enterococcal endocarditis antigen, and enterococcal surface protein. Isolates with multiple factors (both antibiotic resistance and virulence traits) were also more frequent among E. faecalis isolates, in which one isolate cumulated up to 15 traits. By contrast, several isolates of E. faecium had only very few unwanted traits as compared to only two isolates in E. faecalis. The high abundance of isolates carrying virulence factors and antibiotic resistance traits suggests that the sanitary quality of foods should be improved in order to decrease the incidence of enterococci.

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