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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2009 Oct-Dec;27(4):301-5. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.55437.

Review of virulence factors of enterococcus: an emerging nosocomial pathogen.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Kempe Gowda Institute of Medical Sciences, BSK II Stage, Bangalore-560 070, India.


Enterococcus, considered a normal commensal of intestinal tract, is fast emerging as a pathogen causing serious and life threatening hospital borne infections. This is attributed to acquisition of multi drug resistance and virulence factors of the organisms. The sequencing of Enterococcus faecalis has given a lot of insight into its genetic makeup. The E. faecalis strain V583, which has been sequenced, contains a total of 3182 open reading frames (ORFs) with 1760 of these showing similarity to known proteins and 221 of unknown functions. Strikingly unique to this genome is the fact that over 25% of the genome is made up of mobile and exogenously acquired DNA which includes a number of conjugative and composite transposons, a pathogenicity island, integrated plasmid genes and phage regions, and a high number of insertion sequence (IS) elements. This review addresses the genomic arrangement and the study of virulence factors that have occurred since the sequencing of the genome.

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