Journal Article

Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Vancomycin-Resistant <i>Enterococcus faecium</i> Strains during Establishment of Endemicity

Erika M. C. D'Agata, Haijing Li, C. Gouldin and Yi-Wei Tang

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 4, pages 511-516
Published in print August 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/322615
Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium Strains during Establishment of Endemicity

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To characterize the molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) in Tennessee, VREF isolates that were recovered from patients during a 3-year period at a tertiary care center and throughout the state were typed by means of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients colonized or infected with different strain types were also examined. A total of 34 different strain types were identified. A single VREF strain (type O) predominated (63 [61%] of 103 single-patient isolates (i.e., 1 isolate per patient) obtained from 7 different health care institutions). There were no significant differences between patients harboring type O strains and those harboring non-type O strains (P ⩾ .05). The rate of recovery of type O subtypes and strains other than type O increased over the 3-year study period. Establishment of VREF endemicity was initially characterized by clonal spread of type O strains. Subsequently, polyclonal dissemination may have been due to microevolutionary changes among type O strains.

Journal Article.  3948 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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