A functional collagen adhesin gene, acm, in clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecium correlates with the recent success of this emerging nosocomial pathogen.

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Infection and Immunity


Enterococcus faecium recently evolved from a generally avirulent commensal into a multidrug-resistant health care-associated pathogen causing difficult-to-treat infections, but little is known about the factors responsible for this change. We previously showed that some E. faecium strains express a cell wall-anchored collagen adhesin, Acm. Here we analyzed 90 E. faecium isolates (99% acm(+)) and found that the Acm protein was detected predominantly in clinically derived isolates, while the acm gene was present as a transposon-interrupted pseudogene in 12 of 47 isolates of nonclinical origin. A highly significant association between clinical (versus fecal or food) origin and collagen adherence (P


Adhesins, Bacterial, Animals, Antibodies, Bacterial, Bacterial Adhesion, Bacterial Typing Techniques, Cattle, Chickens, Cluster Analysis, Collagen, Cross Infection, DNA Fingerprinting, DNA Transposable Elements, DNA, Bacterial, Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field, Endocarditis, Bacterial, Enterococcus faecium, Feces, Food Microbiology, Genes, Bacterial, Genotype, Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections, Humans, Pseudogenes, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Swine, Turkeys