Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to compare 34 isolates of Enterococcus faecium from six different geographic locations. This procedure generated an average of 13 discernible fragment bands per isolate (range, 10 to 19 fragment bands) of 34 to 485 kb. The resulting restriction endonuclease digestion patterns were quite heterogeneous and were able to differentiate 27 of 34 isolates from each other, as defined by one or more mismatched fragment bands. Five patterns were shared by two or more isolates, and each set of isolates with matching patterns (shared pattern) originated in the same medical center, suggesting a common epidemiologic background, including highly penicillin resistant isolates in Richmond and Philadelphia. We conclude that pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of DNA digested with low-frequency-cleavage restriction enzymes offers a relatively simple method of comparing E. faecium for the purpose of epidemiologic study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)