Enterococcus faecalis (before 1984, E. faecalis was known asStreptococcus faecalis) is a gram-positive commensal bacteria that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other mamals. Like other species of the genusEnterococcus, E. faecalis can cause risky infections in humans, especially in hospital setting. The presence of Enterococci is enhanced because he had the ability to acquire resistance to virtually all antibiotics in use.
Their normal habitat is the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. They are very resistant to adverse conditions like; freezing, drying, heat treatment, among others; for which they are good indicators to assess the hygienic conditions and the conservation of frozen and dried foods. They are also indicators of fecal contamination, so its presence in food indicates poor hygiene or poor storage conditions, except for food in which acts as natural bacterial flora of fermentation processes, such as cheese, raw sausages and even meat products – which means that these foods have a significant content of this bacteria… astonishing! Isn’t it?
Regarding its pathogenesis it is reported that E. faecalis can cause endocarditis (infection of the endocardium), bladder infections, prostate, and infection of the epididymis (part of the male reproductive system); nervous system infections are less common.
E. faecalis is resistant to several antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, aztreonam, cephalosporins, and clindamycin, and semi-synthetic penicillins such as nafcillin, oxacillin, amoxicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Exposure to cephalosporins is a particularly important risk in the colonization and infection with Enterococci. There are a variety ofEnterococci that may be particularly resistant to many glycopeptides (antibiotics) likeVancomycin, called VRE.
- Ryan KJ; Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed. edición). McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
- Schleifer KH; Kilpper-Balz R (1984). “Transfer of Streptococcus faecalis and Streptococcus faecium to the genus Enterococcus nom. rev. as Enterococcus faecalis comb. nov. and Enterococcus faeciumcomb. nov.”. Int. J. Sys. Bacteriol. 34: pp. 31–34.
Walter G. Rivera Guzmán