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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 Jan 15;242(2):217-9.

Enterococcal surface protein Esp does not facilitate intestinal colonization or translocation of Enterococcus faecalis in clindamycin-treated mice.

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Infectious Diseases Section (111W), Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, 10701 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Enterococcal surface protein (Esp) is a cell wall-associated protein of Enterococcus faecalis that has been identified as a potential virulence factor. We used a mouse model to examine whether Esp facilitates intestinal colonization or translocation of E. faecalis to mesenteric lymph nodes. After clindamycin treatment, similar levels of high-density colonization were established after orogastric inoculation of an E. faecalis isolate containing the esp gene within a large pathogenicity island and an isogenic mutant created by allelic replacement of the esp gene with a chloramphenicol resistance cassette (P=0.7); translocation to mesenteric lymph nodes was detected in 3 of 12 (25%) mice in both groups. Isogenic mutants of FA2-2 (a plasmid-free derivative of E. faecalis strain JH2) with or without the esp gene failed to establish colonization of clindamycin-treated mice. These results suggest that Esp does not facilitate intestinal colonization or translocation of E. faecalis.

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