Macrolide, glycopeptide resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus species isolates from dairy cattle

Benson Chucks Iweriebor*, Larry C. Obi, Anthony I. Okoh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 The Authors. The genus Enterococcus is known to possess the capacity to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial resistant determinants alongside the ability to produce various virulence genes that enables it to establish infections. We assessed the prevalence and antibiogram profiles of Enterococcus spp. in faecal samples of dairy cattle. Faecal swab samples were collected from 400 dairy cattle from two commercial cattle farms in two rural communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Confirmation of enterococci isolates was carried out by PCR targeting of the tuf gene. Species delineation was by species-specific primers targeting the superoxide dismutase (sodA) gene in a multiplex PCR assay. Isolates were screened for the presence of the following virulence genes (ace, gelE, esp, efaA, cylA and hylE) and antimicrobial resistance determinants to erythromycin, vancomycin and streptomycin were evaluated molecularly. A total of 340 isolates were confirmed as belonging to the genus Enterococcus. Species distribution among the isolates consisted of Enterococcus faecium (52.94 %) and Enterococcus durans (23.53 %) in preponderance compared to the three other species, namely Enterococcus faecalis (8.8 %), Enterococcus hirae (8.6 %) and Enterococcus casseliflavus (5.9 %). All were resistant to vancomycin, while 99% showed resistance to aminoglycoside and 94% to macrolide. Three virulence genes (ace, gelE and esp) were detected in almost all the confirmed isolates. The resistance determinants vanB (19.7 %), vanC1 (25 %), vanC2/3 (26.3 %) ermB (40.29 %) and strA (50.88 %) were detected among the isolates. A high prevalence of multidrug-resistant enterococci isolates was detected in this study and the genetic repertoire to survive in the presence of antimicrobial agents was present in these organisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-648
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Enterococcus spp
  • Multiple antimicrobial resistance
  • Vancomycin resistance
  • Virulence factors


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