Rapid detection and differentiation method of VanA, VanB and VanC phenotypes in vancomycin-resistant enterococci

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2004 May;23(5):502-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2003.09.031.


We developed a simple method that can replace the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to distinguish between vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) with the vanA, vanB and vanC genes. The method is based on induction of teicoplanin resistance by vancomycin in vanB-VRE, while the two compounds have a synergistic effect in vanC-VRE. In addition, vanA-VRE shows resistance to both vancomycin and teicoplanin, and both the compounds can induce resistance to vanA-VRE. Utilising these properties, we attempted to develop a simple method to distinguish between vanA, vanB and vanC. We compared our simple method with the PCR method in 43 strains of vanA-VRE, 35 strains of vanB-VRE and 37 strains of vanC-VRE. The results were 100% consistent with that obtained by PCR.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carbon-Oxygen Ligases / genetics
  • Carbon-Oxygen Ligases / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peptide Synthases / genetics
  • Peptide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Streptococcus / drug effects*
  • Streptococcus / genetics
  • Teicoplanin / pharmacology
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology
  • Vancomycin Resistance / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • VanA ligase, Bacteria
  • VanB protein, Enterococcus
  • Teicoplanin
  • Vancomycin
  • Carbon-Oxygen Ligases
  • Peptide Synthases
  • VanC protein, Enterococcus