Enterococcus spp. are remarkable multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria that are causing serious healthcare-associated infections. The current study investigated the frequency of Enterococcus spp., antimicrobial susceptibility, biofilm formation and the presence of some plasmid-mediated virulence characters and antimicrobial resistance determinants in enterococcal isolates from Egyptian hospitals in Cairo. Enterococcus bacterial isolates were recovered from different clinical specimens and identified using biochemical testing and KB005A HiStrep™ identification kit. Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method and/or broth microdilution method were used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Phenotypic assays were performed to study biofilm formation and cytolysin and gelatinase production. PCR assays targeting the plasmid-carried genes aac(6’)-aph(2’), aph(3)-IIIa, vanA, agg and cylA were performed. In this study, 50 isolates of diverse Enterococcus spp. were identified with E. faecium was the most frequently isolated one. High resistance profiles were determined against tested antimicrobials and all isolates were MDR. Moderate biofilm formation was detected in 20% of isolates, 18% showed complete blood hemolysis and 12% produced gelatinase. All isolates carried the tested aminoglycosides resistance genes, while vanA was found only in 4 isolates (8%). The virulence genes agg and cylA were detected in 4% and 32% of isolates, respectively. In conclusion, E. faecium was the most prevalent species. The entire isolates set were MDR and the plasmid-carried aminoglycoside resistance genes were extensively disseminated among MDR isolates. Thus, regular surveillance studies, from the area of study or other geographical regions in Egypt, and strict infection control measures are required to monitor the emerging MDR enterococci.
Enterococcus spp., aminoglycoside, vancomycin, biofilm, virulence
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