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Microb Drug Resist. 1998 Winter;4(4):313-8.

Transmission of VanA-type vancomycin-resistant enterococci and vanA resistance elements between chicken and humans at avoparcin-exposed farms.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Institute of Medical Biology, School of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.


The genetical relatedness between epidemiologically linked fecal VRE strains from poultry farmers (n = 5) and their broilers (n = 7) at five avoparcin-exposed Norwegian farms was examined. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of bacterial chromosomal digests and structural analysis of vanA resistance elements was performed. Animal and human Enterococcus faecium strains at one farm were genetically closely related with indistinguishable vanA elements and a single band position difference in PFGE analysis. Examination of the vanA elements in genetically unrelated strains by restriction enzyme digestion of Tn1546 long-PCR amplicons and ORF2-vanR intergenic sequencing revealed a pool of at least two distinct vanA gene cluster groups in the two reservoirs. The results indicate that transmission of VanA glycopeptide resistance in enterococci between human and animal at avoparcin-exposed farms can occur by direct transfer of VRE strains as well as horizontal spread of resistance genes between strains.

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