Enterococcus ( Gram stain )

  • E. avium
  • E. casseliflavus
  • E. durans
  • E. faecalis
  • E. faecium
  • E. gallinarum
  • E. hirae
  • E. raffinosus

Enterococci ( Germanized plural from the Latinised singular Enterococcus, the ἔντερον from the two ancient Greek ingredients enteron, intestines ',' gut ' and κόκκος KOKKOS, core ', ' grain ' composed ) were originally classified as streptococci of serogroup D, but later than separate genus of the streptococci separated. Enterococci occur in the environment, before in animals and humans as well as in traditional foods such as cheese or fermented sausages.

Microbiological properties

Enterococci are Gram- positive, catalase - negative, and classified as aero tolerant anaerobic germ due to the lack porphyrins and cytochromes. Spherical ( coccoid ) bacteria are arranged in pairs or short chains.

In humans and animals play of the approximately 25 known enterococcal species, including two species, namely E. faecium and E. faecalis, an important role in the digestive system. They are therefore used in probiotic foods to promote the microflora of the digestive system.

In food enterococci play an important role in fermentation and maturation processes and contribute to the special and desired flavor of foods (such as buffalo mozzarella, camembert and goat cheese ) with.

Other species that may be rare in humans, including E. durans and E. casseliflavus.

Properties as pathogens

In addition to their positive qualities certain strains of enterococci can cause ( especially certain E. faecalis strains ) in people whose immune system is severely weakened, infections.

Enterococci isolated as pathogens in part severe nosocomial infections. They are mainly found as a cause of urinary tract infections, sepsis and endocarditis. Amoxicillin and ampicillin are suitable for antibiotic therapy unless resistance against it are present. To cephalosporins, aminoglycosides and some penicillins is a natural resistance, we speak in this regard of the " Enterokokkenlücke " these antibiotics. About vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE ) was first reported in 1988. Today AER are one of the most common reasons of bacteremia in hospitalized patients after antibiotic treatment, especially in cancer patients after chemotherapy. Vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecium occurs most often. A common way of transfer of resistance is the so-called horizontal gene transfer on the exchange of VanA or VanB gene clusters.