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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1999 Jul;34(3):165-71.

Practical approach to the identification of clinically relevant Enterococcus species.

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Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Enterococci have become important nosocomial pathogens, with Enterococcus faecalis and then Enterococcus faecium predominating. Because of the emergence of glycopeptide (vancomycin and teicoplanin) resistance in enterococci, laboratories have been required to screen for resistant strains and to identify them to the species level. This has resulted in the need for accurate identification of species less commonly associated with clinical infections, such as Enterococcus casseliflavus and Enterococcus gallinarum, which are inherently resistant to the glycopeptides. Studies evaluating commonly used commercial identification systems, have found error rates for enterococcal species identification of 2-21% for E. faecalis, 5-9% for E. faecium, and 14-79% for other species. Reporting errors may have adverse effects on the management of clinical infections, as well as in the control of multidrug-resistant strain outbreaks. The purpose of this document is to present a simplified approach to the identification of Enterococcus species that uses a combination of rapid, readily available, and inexpensive tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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