In vitro activity of 19 antimicrobial agents against enterococci from healthy subjects and hospitalized patients and use of an ace gene probe from Enterococcus faecalis for species identification

Microb Drug Resist. Spring 2001;7(1):39-46. doi: 10.1089/107662901750152765.


We tested 165 enterococcal isolates, biased toward vancomycin resistant (VR) isolates, collected during recent years from fecal samples of healthy subjects and clinical specimens of hospitalized patients (mostly from United States and some from Europe) for susceptibility to 19 antimicrobials. Nosocomial isolates, whether VR or not, were more often highly resistant to aminoglycosides and clindamycin than fecal isolates from healthy community volunteers and more often resistant to erythromycin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim, levofloxacin and, for E. faecium, ampicillin (93 vs. 0%). Resistance rates were similar between nosocomial and community-fecal isolates for minocycline, rifampin and quinupristin-dalfopristin (Q-D). None of the 165 enterococci tested hybridized with aph(2'')-Ic and aph(2'')-Id probes for recently described gentamicin resistance genes and 37 of the 39 isolates with high level resistance (HLR) to gentamicin hybridized with an intragenic aac(6')-aph(2'') probe. Of the two newer drugs tested, daptomycin MIC90s were 0.25 microg/mL for E. faecalis and 1 microg/mL for E. faecium, regardless of their vancomycin resistance level or source. For Q-D, none of 28 E. faecium from community based healthy subjects in the USA and 7 of 66 E. faecium from hospitalized patients in the United States were resistant. Among these 7 Q-Dr United States isolates and 7 Q-Dr isolates from Europe (MICs of Q-D of 4-8 microg/mL), none hybridized with vat(D) (formerly satA) and vat(E) (formerly satG) DNA probes, indicating the involvement of other mechanism/s of resistance in these isolates. We also demonstrated that an intragenic probe of the gene ace from E. faecalis showed specific hybridizations to all E. faecalis isolates, suggesting the usefulness of this gene for identification of this species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects*
  • Enterococcus faecalis / genetics*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Gentamicins / pharmacology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Probes
  • Species Specificity
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology
  • Virginiamycin / pharmacology


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Gentamicins
  • Molecular Probes
  • Virginiamycin
  • Vancomycin