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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Mar;256(1):145-50.

Relationship between biofilm formation, the enterococcal surface protein (Esp) and gelatinase in clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium.

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Cattedra di Allergologia ed Immunologia Clinica, II facoltà di Medicina, Universita La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.


One-hundred and twenty-eight enterococcal isolates were examined for their ability to form biofilm in relation to the presence of the gene encoding the enterococcal surface protein (esp), production of gelatinase and to the source of isolation. Neither esp nor gelatinase seemed to be required for biofilm formation: both Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium did not show a correlation between the presence of either esp or the production of gelatinase and biofilm formation. However, in E. faecium while esp was found in isolates from either source, the presence of both esp and biofilm together was only found in strains from clinical settings, suggesting that there exists a synergy between these factors which serves as an advantage for the process of infection.

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