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Biomaterials. 2008 Feb;29(5):580-6.

Strong biofilm production, antibiotic multi-resistance and high gelE expression in epidemic clones of Enterococcus faecalis from orthopaedic implant infections.

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Research Unit on Implant Infections, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Via di Barbiano 1/10, Bologna, Italy.


Enterococcus faecalis is an opportunistic pathogen, which today represents one of the leading aetiologic agents of nosocomial infections and, increasingly, of implant infections. Here, in a collection of 43 E. faecalis isolated from implant orthopaedic infections, virulence-related phenotypes (biofilm and gelatinase production) and genotypes (gelE and esp) were studied to characterize epidemic clones identified and grouped by ribotyping. The presence of the esp gene and a marked and steady biofilm formation ability appeared to be the features associated with the clonal spreading, as well as a conspicuous gelatinase production, whereas the simple presence of gelE appeared non-specific of the epidemic clones. Antibiotic multi-resistance and strong biofilm production abilities together with a high phenotypic expression of gelatinase are an important equipment of E. faecalis to colonize peri-prosthesis tissues and to spread out as causative agents of implant orthopaedic infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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