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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1996 Nov;40(11):2558-61.

Development of fluoroquinolone resistance in Enterococcus faecalis and role of mutations in the DNA gyrase gyrA gene.

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  • 1Service de Bactériologie-Virologie-Hygiène, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.


We have analyzed the development of fluoroquinolone resistance between 1986 and 1993 among clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis from a French hospital. One hundred randomly selected isolates per year were screened for resistance to ciprofloxacin (MIC > 2 micrograms/ml) and for high-level resistance to gentamicin (MIC > 1,000 micrograms/ml). The percentages of ciprofloxacin-resistant strains for these years were as follows: 1986, 0; 1987, 1; 1988 to 1989, 2; 1990, 6; 1991, 16; 1992, 24; and 1993, 14. Eighty-three percent of the ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates were coresistant to high levels of gentamicin. Forty-eight high-level gentamicin-resistant E. faecalis strains, which were resistant (24 strains) or susceptible (24 strains) to ciprofloxacin, were examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI-digested total DNA. Numerous PFGE types were observed among the ciprofloxacin-susceptible isolates, whereas one type was largely predominant among the ciprofloxacin-resistant strains, which suggests that the increase in fluoroquinolone resistance was due to the spread of a single clone. A 241-bp fragment of gyrA, corresponding to the quinolone resistance-determining region, was amplified and sequenced for seven ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates. Six strains had high levels of resistance (MICs, 32 to 64 micrograms/ml) and had a mutation at position 83 (Escherichia coli coordinates) from Ser to Arg (three strains) or to Ile (two strains) or at position 87 from Glu to Gly (one strain), whereas the low-level-resistant isolate (MIC, 8 micrograms/ml) had no mutations.

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