A potential virulence gene, hylEfm, predominates in Enterococcus faecium of clinical origin

J Infect Dis. 2003 Feb 1;187(3):508-12. doi: 10.1086/367711. Epub 2003 Jan 8.


An open reading frame (hyl(Efm)) with homologies to previously described hyaluronidase genes has been identified in nonstool isolates of Enterococcus faecium. E. faecium isolates (n=577) from diverse sources were screened for the presence of hyl(Efm) and esp(Efm), a putative virulence gene associated with epidemic E. faecium strains. The presence of esp(Efm) was roughly twice that of hyl(Efm), but both were found primarily in vancomycin-resistant E. faecium isolates in nonstool cultures obtained from patients hospitalized in the United States. These data suggest that specific E. faecium strains may be enriched in determinants that make them more likely to cause clinical infections. Differences in the prevalence of these strains may help explain variations in the clinical importance of multiresistant E. faecium across different continents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Enterococcus faecium / drug effects
  • Enterococcus faecium / genetics*
  • Enterococcus faecium / isolation & purification
  • Enterococcus faecium / pathogenicity*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology
  • Vancomycin Resistance
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • enterococcal surface protein, esp
  • Vancomycin
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase