Genetic characteristics and molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci isolates from Caribbean countries
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Emergence of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) that first appeared on the stage about three decades ago is now a major concern worldwide as it has globally reached every continent. Our aim was to simply undertake a multinational study to delineate the resistance and virulence genes of clinical isolates of VRE isolates from the Caribbean. We employed both conventional (standard microbiological methods including use of E-test strips, chromogenic agar) and molecular methods (polymerase chain reactions-PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis-PFGE and multilocus sequence typing-MLST) to analyze and characterize 245 Enterococci species and 77 VRE isolates from twelve hospitals from eight countries in the Caribbean. The PCR confirmed and demonstrated the resistance and virulence genes (vanA and esp) among all confirmed VRE isolates. The PFGE delineated clonally related isolates from patients from the same country and other countries in the region. The main sequence types of the VRE isolates from the region included STs 412, 750, 203, 736 and 18, all from the common ancestor for clonal complex 17 (CC17). Despite this common ancestor and association of outbreaks of this lineage clones, there has been no reports of outbreaks of infection by VRE in several hospitals in the Caribbean.
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