Biodiversity of Enterococcus faecalis based on genomic typing.

International journal of food microbiology

PubMedID: 23685727

Buhnik-Rosenblau K, Matsko-Efimov V, Danin-Poleg Y, Franz CM, Klein G, Kashi Y. Biodiversity of Enterococcus faecalis based on genomic typing. Int J Food Microbiol. 2013;165(1):27-34.
Enterococcus faecalis is a common inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tracts of different animals and is also found in other environments, such as plants, soil, food and water. The diverse nature of E. faecalis, which includes pathogenic, commensal and probiotic strains, calls for the development of tools for accurate discrimination and characterization at the strain level. Here we studied the genetic relationships among 106 E. faecalis strains isolated from diverse origins and possessing different degrees of virulence. Strain typing was conducted using a set of selected simple-sequence repeat (SSR) loci combined with multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, which discriminated among the strains and separated them into three main clusters. While pathogenic and commensal isolates were dispersed along the dendrogram, probiotic and cheese-originated strains were highly associated with one specific cluster (cluster 1). The strain panel was further characterized by testing the occurrence of two virulence determinants (esp gene and ß-hemolysis). The two determinants showed low abundance among probiotic and cheese-originated strains within cluster 1 when compared to non-cluster 1 cheese-originated strains, indicating a possible association of cluster 1 with non-virulent strains. Our results further emphasize the importance and challenge of precise characterization of E. faecalis strains from various sources.