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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2000 Aug;2(4):315-321.

Pathogenic Mechanisms of Enterococcal Endocarditis.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware Street, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Enterococci are gram-positive bacteria that are now established as major nosocomial pathogens and have become increasingly important in recent years due to the development and transmission of antibiotic resistance traits. These organisms commonly cause a variety of nosocomial infections, including surgical wound infections and urinary tract infections, as well as cardiovascular infections such as bacteremia and endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening microbial infection of the endothelial surface of the heart, which typically occurs on heart valve tissue. The enterococci are the third most common cause of infective endocarditis, and are becoming increasingly significant in this disease. In this review, we discuss the role of enterococci in infective endocarditis and focus on the current knowledge of enterococcal virulence mechanisms, with specific reference to this disease.


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