What is it?
It is a large genus of lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes. Enterococci are Gram-positive that often occur in pairs (diplococci) or short chains, and it is difficult to differentiate streptococci by their physical characteristics that do not distinguish them by themselves.
Enterococci are facultative anaerobic organisms, that is, they are capable of cellular respiration in both rich and poor oxygen concentrations.
Although they are not capable of forming spores, enterococci can withstand a wide range of environmental conditions:
- Extreme temperatures (10-45 ° C), pH (4.5 to 10.0).
- Concentrations of high density sodium chloride.
Some important clinical infections caused by Enterococci are urinary tract infections, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, bacteremia and meningitis. Sensitive strains of these bacteria can be treated with ampicillin, penicillin and vancomycin.
Urinary tract infections can be treated specifically with nitrofurantoin, even in cases of resistance to vancomycin.
Is there any treatment?
From a medical point of view, an important feature of this genre is the high level of resistance to a large number of antibiotics. Some enterococci are intrinsically resistant to ß-base -lactamic antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins, carbapenems), as well as many amino glycosides.
In the last two decades, particularly strains of Enterococcus that are resistant to drugs such as vancomycin (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus) have emerged in hospital infections in hospitalized patients, especially in the USA.
Other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, have been spared this epidemic, and, in 2005, Singapore managed to stop an epidemic.
It can be treated with quinupristin with response rates of approximately 70%. Tigecycline also has anti-enterococcal activity as well as rifampicin.
Enterococcus meningitis is a rarely seen and uncommon complication of surgeries in the brain. In many cases, treatment with intravenous or vancomycin is necessary; however, it is debatable whether its use has any impact on the result.
The elimination of any neurological device is a very important part to avoid this type of infections.
The new epidemiological evidence has shown that enterococci are an important infectious agent in chronic bacterial prostatitis. Enterococci are capable of forming a protective film on the prostate gland, so their eradication is difficult.
Where are these bacteria?
In water bodies, the acceptable level of contamination is very low; for example, in the state of Hawaii, and most of the United States.
In 2004, it took the place of fecal coliforms as the new US federal standard. for water quality on public saltwater beaches and E. Coli on some freshwater beaches.
Studies have verified that there is a higher relationship than fecal coliforms with many of the human pathogens that are often found in wastewater in the city.