Epidemiology and mechanisms of glycopeptide resistance in enterococci

Ali Zirakzadeh, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: This review updates epidemiologic trends and our understanding of glycopeptide resistance in enterococci. Recent findings: Colonization and infection rates with vancomycin resistant enterococci continue to increase throughout the world while factors contributing to this rise continue to be defined. While no interventions exist to eradicate colonization, infection control procedures are cost effective and decrease the prevalence of vancomycin resistant enterococcal colonization and infection. New molecular methods show great promise in strengthening our ability to detect colonization with these bacteria. Furthermore, our understanding of the origin of vancomycin resistant enterococci continues to grow. Paenibacillus species found in soil have been found to carry homologues of vanA-associated glycopeptide resistance genes found in enterococci. Also, additional evidence supports previous data that VanB-associated resistance may have been horizontally transferred from gastrointestinal tract bacteria to enterococci. Finally, glycopeptide resistance has been transferred to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in clinical practice on several occasions. Summary: The prevalence of vancomycin resistant enterococci will likely continue to increase. Implementation of infection control strategies, in conjunction with deployment of advanced technologies for detection of vancomycin resistant enterococci, may curb this rise. The emergence of vancomycin resistant S. aureus is of concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Enterococcus
  • Epidemiology
  • Glycopeptide resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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