The genus Enterococcus

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Authors

ŠVEC Pavel FRANZ Charles M. A. P.

Year of publication 2014
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Description The genus Enterococcus presently contains 43 recognised species occurring in a wide variety of environments. Enterococci are naturally associated with the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, however they may be isolated from food, especially from meat, dairy and plant food fermentations, as well as from the environment. They are frequent causes of hospital-acquired infections in immunocompromised patients, in patients receiving surgery or in patients with severe underlying diseases. Production of a variety of virulence factors and high intrinsic and acquired resistances to multiple antibiotics among some enterococcal strains often complicates proper treatment. On the other hand, some enterococcal strains have beneficial properties which are utilized in the development of starter cultures for food fermentations or as probiotics. Due to this dual significance of the enterococci for humans, a reliable taxonomic characterization and investigation of individual enterococcal strains is crucial for assessing the detrimental or beneficial characteristics of the Enterococcus spp. strains. The present chapter provides a basic overview of the current taxonomy, ecology and medical and industrial importance of the genus and individual Enterococcus species.
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