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J Infect Dis. 1996 May;173(5):1129-36.

Influence of oral glycopeptides on the fecal flora of human volunteers: selection of highly glycopeptide-resistant enterococci.

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Service de M├ędecine et Laboratoire d'Investigation Clinique H. J. Tagnon, (Clinique des Maladies Infectieuses et Laboratoire de Microbiologie), Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium.


Changes in fecal flora were evaluated in 22 healthy volunteers administered oral vancomycin or teicoplanin in 1989-1991 in Belgium. Evaluation of 5 colonies per subject revealed no glycopeptide-resistant enterococci in the predominant flora before glycopeptide administration; however, large numbers (mostly Enterococcus faecium) emerged by the end of the study in 14 (64%) of the subjects. Pediococci and lactobacilli also increased in number. In 1992, 40 healthy volunteers and 33 cancer patients were evaluated by plating stool samples directly onto selective media containing vancomycin; low numbers of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (< 50 cfu/g) were found in 11 (28%) of the 40 and 4 (12%) of the 33 samples, respectively. DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis showed that most isolates were different, but all contained vanA in Tn1546-like elements. These results indicate that vanA and Tn1546-like elements were common in Belgium as early as 1989 and that community-based individuals in that location likely form a major reservoir for glycopeptide-resistant enterococci.

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