Enterococcus faecalis is one of the most frequently isolated bacterial species in wounds yet little is known about its pathogenic mechanisms in this setting. Here, we used a mouse wound excisional model to characterize the infection dynamics of E faecalis and show that infected wounds result in 2 different states depending on the initial inoculum. Low-dose inocula were associated with short-term, low-titer colonization whereas high-dose inocula were associated with acute bacterial replication and long-term persistence. High-dose infection and persistence were also associated with immune cell infiltration, despite suppression of some inflammatory cytokines and delayed wound healing. During high-dose infection, the multiple peptide resistance factor, which is involved in resisting immune clearance, contributes to E faecalis fitness. These results comprehensively describe a mouse model for investigating E faecalis wound infection determinants, and suggest that both immune modulation and resistance contribute to persistent, nonhealing wounds.
Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; immune evasion; multiple peptide resistant factor; persistence; wound infection.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.