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In order to elucidate the mechanisms of fluoroquinolone resistance in Enterococcus faecium, spontaneous mutants isolated from Ent. faecium ATCC 19434 by stepwise selection with sparfloxacin (SPX) or norfloxacin (NOR) and 13 clinical isolates of Ent. faecium were characterized by analysing quinolone-resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of the gyrA, gyrB, parC and parE genes and examining changes in MICs of SPX and NOR in the presence of efflux pump inhibitors. The SPX-selected first-step mutant had a point mutation only in gyrA, and the mutants QR7-18 and QR7-39, and clinical isolates that had point mutations in parC, showed NOR resistance. These results indicate that the primary targets of SPX and NOR are DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV, respectively, and therefore that the primary target of fluoroquinolones in Ent. faecium differs depending on the structure of the compound used. The characterization of the spontaneous mutants and the clinical isolates demonstrates that in addition to the previously reported alterations in GyrA and ParC, an alteration in GyrB, a NorA-like pump, an unknown efflux pump, which excretes both SPX and NOR from bacterial cells, and probably other unknown mechanism(s) all contribute to fluoroquinolone resistance in Ent. faecium.


Yoshihiro Oyamada, Hideaki Ito, Kouichi Fujimoto, Reiko Asada, Toshiyuki Niga, Ryoichi Okamoto, Matsuhisa Inoue, Jun-Ichi Yamagishi. Combination of known and unknown mechanisms confers high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones in Enterococcus faecium. Journal of medical microbiology. 2006 Jun;55(Pt 6):729-36

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PMID: 16687591

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