Isolation and chemical characterization of a capsular polysaccharide antigen shared by clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. (1/871)

Enterococci are a common cause of serious infections, especially in newborns, severely immunocompromised patients, and patients requiring intensive care. To characterize enterococcal surface antigens that are targets of opsonic antibodies, rabbits were immunized with various gentamicin-killed Enterococcus faecalis strains, and immune sera were tested in an opsonophagocytic assay against a selection of clinical isolates. Serum raised against one strain killed the homologous strain (12030) at a dilution of 1:5,120 and mediated opsonic killing of 33% of all strains tested. In addition, this serum killed two (28%) of seven vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium strains. Adsorption of sera with the homologous strain eliminated killing activity. The adsorbing antigens were resistant to treatment with proteinase K and to boiling for 1 h, but were susceptible to treatment with sodium periodate, indicating that the antigen inducing opsonic activity is a polysaccharide. Antibodies in immune rabbit sera reacted with a capsule-like structure visualized by electron microscopy both on the homologous E. faecalis strain and on a vancomycin-resistant E. faecium strain. The capsular polysaccharides from E. faecalis 12030 and E. faecium 838970 were purified, and chemical and structural analyses indicated they were identical glycerol teichoic acid-like molecules with a carbohydrate backbone structure of 6-alpha-D-glucose-1-2 glycerol-3-PO4 with substitution on carbon 2 of the glucose with an alpha-2-1-D-glucose residue. The purified antigen adsorbed opsonic killing activity from immune rabbit sera and elicited high titers of antibodies (when used to immunize rabbits) that both mediated opsonic killing of bacteria and bound to a capsule-like structure visualized by electron microscopy. These results indicate that approximately one-third of a sample of 15 E. faecalis strains and 7 vancomycin-resistant E. faecium strains possess shared capsular polysaccharides that are targets of opsonophagocytic antibodies and therefore are potential vaccine candidates.  (+info)

Synergy of an investigational glycopeptide, LY333328, with once-daily gentamicin against vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in a multiple-dose, in vitro pharmacodynamic model. (2/871)

The pharmacodynamics of an investigational glycopeptide, LY333328 (LY), alone and in combination with gentamicin, against one vancomycin-susceptible and two vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium strains were studied with a multiple-dose, in vitro pharmacodynamic model (PDM). Dose-range data for the PDM studies were obtained from static time-kill curve studies. In PDM experiments conducted over 48 h, peak LY concentrations of 0.1x and 1x the MIC every 24 h and peak gentamicin concentrations of 18 micrograms/ml every 24 h (Gq24 h) and 6 micrograms/ml every 8 h (Gq8 h) were studied alone and in the four possible LY-gentamicin combinations. Compared to either antibiotic alone, LY-gentamicin combination regimens produced significantly higher apparent killing rates (KRs) calculated during the initial 2 h postdosing. The mean KRs for LY or gentamicin alone versus those for the LY-gentamicin combination regimens were 0.35 +/- 0.55 log10 CFU/ml/h (95% confidence interval [CI95%], 0 to 0.70) and 1.46 +/- 0.71 log10 CFU/ml/h (CI95%, 1.01 to 1.91), respectively (P < 0.0001). Bacterial killing at 48 h (BK48), which was calculated by subtracting the bacterial counts at 48 h from the initial inoculum, with a negative value indicating net growth, was also significantly greater. The mean BK48S were -0.69 +/- 0.44 log10 CFU/ml (CI95%, -0.41 to -0.97) and 3.72 +/- 2.28 log10 CFU/ml (CI95%, 2.28 to 5.17) for LY or gentamicin alone versus LY-gentamicin combination regimens, respectively (P < 0.0001). None of the 12 regimens with LY or gentamicin alone but 75% (9 of 12) of the LY-gentamicin combination regimens were bactericidal. Eighty-three percent (10 of 12) of the LY-gentamicin combination regimens also demonstrated synergy. No significant differences between the pharmacodynamics of LY-gentamicin combination regimens containing Gq24 h versus those containing Gq8h were detected.  (+info)

Cell-wall determinants of the bactericidal action of group IIA phospholipase A2 against Gram-positive bacteria. (3/871)

We have shown previously that a group IIA phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is responsible for the potent bactericidal activity of inflammatory fluids against many Gram-positive bacteria. To exert its antibacterial activity, this PLA2 must first bind and traverse the bacterial cell wall to produce the extensive degradation of membrane phospholipids (PL) required for bacterial killing. In this study, we have examined the properties of the cell-wall that may determine the potency of group IIA PLA2 action. Inhibition of bacterial growth by nutrient deprivation or a bacteriostatic antibiotic reversibly increased bacterial resistance to PLA2-triggered PL degradation and killing. Conversely, pretreatment of Staphylococcus aureus or Enterococcus faecium with subinhibitory doses of beta-lactam antibiotics increased the rate and extent of PL degradation and/or bacterial killing after addition of PLA2. Isogenic wild-type (lyt+) and autolysis-deficient (lyt-) strains of S. aureus were equally sensitive to the phospholipolytic action of PLA2, but killing and lysis was much greater in the lyt+ strain. Thus, changes in cell-wall cross-linking and/or autolytic activity can modulate PLA2 action either by affecting enzyme access to membrane PL or by the coupling of massive PL degradation to autolysin-dependent killing and bacterial lysis or both. Taken together, these findings suggest that the bacterial envelope sites engaged in cell growth may represent preferential sites for the action and cytotoxic consequences of group IIA PLA2 attack against Gram-positive bacteria.  (+info)

DNA banding pattern polymorphism in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and criteria for defining strains. (4/871)

The degree of DNA banding pattern polymorphism exhibited by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREM) strains isolated on a renal unit over an 11-month period was investigated. Thirty VREM strains from different patients were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE; with extended run and optimal pulse times), ribotyping, plasmid profile analysis, biotyping, pyrolysis mass spectrometry, and antibiogram analysis. PFGE resolved 17 banding patterns which formed four distinct clusters at the 82% similarity level. Intercluster band differences ranged from 14 to 31 bands. The strains in one cluster, which contained seven patterns that differed from each other by one to seven bands and from the common pattern by five bands, were confirmed to be a single strain by four of the five other typing methods. The strains in a second cluster with eight patterns, which differed from each other by 1 to 12 bands, contained two subclusters. This subdivision was supported by ribotyping and biotyping. However, it was unclear whether these subclusters represented distinct strains. In one strain, marked polymorphism (patterns that differed from each other by up to four bands) was observed in the ribotype pattern. This study demonstrates the high degree of DNA banding pattern polymorphism found for some strains of VREM and illustrates the complexity involved in defining such strains.  (+info)

A new resistance gene, linB, conferring resistance to lincosamides by nucleotidylation in Enterococcus faecium HM1025. (5/871)

Resistance to lincomycin and clindamycin in the clinical isolate Enterococcus faecium HM1025 is due to a ribosomal methylase encoded by an ermAM-like gene and the plasmid-mediated inactivation of these antibiotics. We have cloned and determined the nucleotide sequence of the gene responsible for the inactivation of lincosamides, linB. This gene encodes a 267-amino-acid lincosamide nucleotidyltransferase. The enzyme catalyzes 3(5'-adenylation) (the adenylation of the hydroxyl group in position 3 of the molecules) of lincomycin and clindamycin. Expression of linB was observed in both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The deduced amino acid sequence of the enzyme did not display any significant homology with staphylococcal nucleotidyltransferases encoded by linA and linA' genes. Sequences homologous to linB were found in 14 other clinical isolates of E. faecium, indicating the spread of the resistance trait in this species.  (+info)

Alterations in GyrA and ParC associated with fluoroquinolone resistance in Enterococcus faecium. (6/871)

High-level quinolone resistance in Enterococcus faecium was associated with mutations in both gyrA and parC genes in 10 of 11 resistant strains. On low-level resistant strain without such mutations may instead possess an efflux mechanism or alterations in the other subunits of the gyrase or topoisomerase IV genes. These findings are similar to those for other gram-positive bacteria, such as Enterococcus faecalis.  (+info)

Characterization and heterologous expression of the genes encoding enterocin a production, immunity, and regulation in Enterococcus faecium DPC1146. (7/871)

Enterocin A is a small, heat-stable, antilisterial bacteriocin produced by Enterococcus faecium DPC1146. The sequence of a 10, 879-bp chromosomal region containing at least 12 open reading frames (ORFs), 7 of which are predicted to play a role in enterocin biosynthesis, is presented. The genes entA, entI, and entF encode the enterocin A prepeptide, the putative immunity protein, and the induction factor prepeptide, respectively. The deduced proteins EntK and EntR resemble the histidine kinase and response regulator proteins of two-component signal transducing systems of the AgrC-AgrA type. The predicted proteins EntT and EntD are homologous to ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters and accessory factors, respectively, of several other bacteriocin systems and to proteins implicated in the signal-sequence-independent export of Escherichia coli hemolysin A. Immediately downstream of the entT and entD genes are two ORFs, the product of one of which, ORF4, is very similar to the product of the yteI gene of Bacillus subtilis and to E. coli protease IV, a signal peptide peptidase known to be involved in outer membrane lipoprotein export. Another potential bacteriocin is encoded in the opposite direction to the other genes in the enterocin cluster. This putative bacteriocin-like peptide is similar to LafX, one of the components of the lactacin F complex. A deletion which included one of two direct repeats upstream of the entA gene abolished enterocin A activity, immunity, and ability to induce bacteriocin production. Transposon insertion upstream of the entF gene also had the same effect, but this mutant could be complemented by exogenously supplied induction factor. The putative EntI peptide was shown to be involved in the immunity to enterocin A. Cloning of a 10.5-kb amplicon comprising all predicted ORFs and regulatory regions resulted in heterologous production of enterocin A and induction factor in Enterococcus faecalis, while a four-gene construct (entAITD) under the control of a constitutive promoter resulted in heterologous enterocin A production in both E. faecalis and Lactococcus lactis.  (+info)

Genomic relationships between Enterococcus faecium strains from different sources and with different antibiotic resistance profiles evaluated by restriction endonuclease analysis of total chromosomal DNA using EcoRI and PvuII. (8/871)

Forty-seven Enterococcus faecium strains from different sources were evaluated by restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) of total chromosomal DNA. Strains from chicken, pork, and humans were clearly divided into separate clusters, whereas strains from different countries, strains with different antibiotic resistance profiles, or clinical and healthy-subject strains were not.  (+info)