1887

Abstract

The present study describes the first molecular characterization of environmental and clinical isolates of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in Wales. Over a 3-month period (May–July 2000), 134 isolates of VRE (89 and 45 ) were isolated from the patient environment of the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff, Wales, UK. In addition, over the same time-period, 24 clinical isolates of VRE (20 isolates of and four isolates of ) were obtained from 14 patients. All study isolates were subjected to PFGE typing and their genotypes were determined by using multiplex PCR. The PCR product (231 bp) was evident in 146 (92 %) of 158 VRE isolates; the remaining 12 isolates (8 %) were positive for the gene. All isolates of were found to be -positive. In total, 16 PFGE banding profiles (pulsotypes) were observed for environmental isolates of , whilst eight pulsotypes were found for isolates of . Some of these pulsotypes were isolated from multiple sites, whereas others were more restricted in their distribution. Eleven pulsotypes were evident for clinical isolates and eight of these (representing 11 isolates) were also encountered in environmental isolates. Eleven clinical isolates of (55 %) shared an identical pulsotype that was not detected in environmental isolates. These results demonstrate a heterogeneous environmental population of VRE and an association of certain strains with clinical isolates. Predominance of a single pulsotype (not detected in the environment) amongst clinical isolates suggests non-environmental transmission between patients.

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2003-09-01
2019-11-19
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