Occurrence of virulence factors among human intestinal enterococcal isolates

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AimsThe aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of enterococcal virulence factors among human intestinal Enterococcus faecalis strains and to find out whether the pattern differs from that seen in published reports on food and clinical isolates.Methods and ResultsThe E. faecalis isolates were cultured from human faecal samples obtained from five ulcerative colitis patients in remission phase. The species identification was based on API120 strips and species-specific PCR primers. The isolates were further characterized using the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The presence of seven different known enterococcal virulence factors among the confirmed E. faecalis isolates were screened using PCR techniques and published primers.ConclusionsAmong the 35 isolates representing nine different pulsotypes the most frequent virulence factors were cpd (33 isolates), agg (25 isolates), gelE (22 isolates) and esp (15 isolates). No complete sets of genes associated for the production of functional cytolysin were encountered indicating that intestinal enterococci may differ in this respect from clinical strains.Significance and Impact of the StudyAccording to the results, the commensal enterococcal strains appear to differ from clinical isolates in their complement of presumed virulence factors.

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