Identification of a genetic determinant in clinical Enterococcus faecium strains that contributes to intestinal colonization during antibiotic treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Xinglin Zhang
  • Janetta Top
  • Mark de Been
  • Damien Bierschenk
  • Malbert Rogers
  • Masja Leendertse
  • Marc J M Bonten
  • Tom van der Poll
  • Rob J L Willems

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University Medical Center Utrecht


Intestinal colonization by antibiotic-resistant Enterococcus faecium is the first step in a process that can lead to infections in hospitalized patients. By comparative genome analysis and subsequent polymerase chain reaction screening, we identified a locus that encodes a putative phosphotransferase system (PTS). The PTS locus was widespread in isolates from hospital outbreaks of infection (84.2%) and nonoutbreak clinical infections (66.0%) but absent from human commensal isolates. Deletion of pstD, which is predicted to encode the enzyme IID subunit of this PTS, significantly impaired the ability of E. faecium to colonize the murine intestinal tract during antibiotic treatment. This is the first description of a determinant that contributes to intestinal colonization in clinical E. faecium strains.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1780-6
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Carrier State, Disease Models, Animal, Enterococcus faecium, Gastrointestinal Tract, Gene Deletion, Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections, Humans, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Phosphotransferases, Virulence Factors, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't