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Rev Chilena Infectol. 2013 Feb;30(1):17-22. doi: 10.4067/S0716-10182013000100003.

[Detection of virulence genes in aminoglycoside susceptible and resistant Enterococcus faecalis].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Departamento de Tecnología Médica, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile. jsilva@uantof.cl



Enterococcus spp. is an important cause of nosocomial infections A number of virulence factors that may enhance its ability to colonize have been described. Enterococcus is capable of acquiring resistance genes, including high-level resistance (HLR) to aminoglycoside antibiotics.


to investigate the prevalence of genes encoding virulence factors in aminoglycosides susceptible and resistant E. faecalis.


A total of 80 E. faecalis isolates from clinical (n: 52) and poultry samples (n: 28) were included in this study. Bacterial identification was performed by biochemical tests and phenotypificationwas done using the Phene-PlateTM system. Susceptibility to different antimicrobial agents was determined by the agar dilution method. Virulence genes aceI, agg, gelE and efaA were detected by multiplex PCR.


All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and ampicillin. HLR to gentamicin (13.5%) and streptomycin (9.6%) was detected only in clinical isolates. The phenotyping revealed a great diversity of PhP-types, but only one clone with 7 strains of similar characteristics was found. The efaA gen was detected in 100% of the isolates. aceI gene was present in 94.2% and 75%, agg gene in 73.1%, and 67.9%, and gelE gene in 57.5% and 28.6% of the clinical and chicken isolates, respectively. Only 6 strains with HLR to aminoglycosides, belonging to the same phenotype, had the aceI, agg, gelE and efaA genes.


E. faecalis with virulence genes and HLR to aminoglycosides were isolated from clinical and chicken samples in Antofagasta. More studies will be necessary to establish an association.

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