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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


SEPULVEDA A, Marcela et al. Molecular identification of aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes among strains of Enterococcus spp. isolated in hospitals of the VIII Region of Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2007, vol.135, n.5, pp.566-572. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Infectious diseases produced by Enterococcus spp, must be treated with a synergistic combination between a penicillin and an aminoglycoside. High level resistance to aminoglycosides is a serious therapeutic problem, since it predicts the loss of synergistic activity of this antimicrobial combination. Aim: To investigate the presence of genes encoding aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AMEs) among strains of Enterococcus spp with high level of resistance to aminoglycosides. Material and methods: The genes encoding some of the AMEs were investigated among 305 aminoglycoside-resistant strains of Enterococcus spp isolated in hospitals of the VIII region of Chile, by dot blot hybridization and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCS). Results: High level resistance to some aminoglycosides was observed in 104 strains (34.1 %) and 93 of these harbored at ¡east one of the genes encoding the investigated AMEs. Three genes were detected: aac(6)Ie-aph(2")Ia (14.8%) encoding for the enzyme AAC(6)Ie-APH(2")Ia (resistance to all aminoglycosides, except streptomycin); aph(3)IIIa (26%), and ant(6)la (28.5%) encoding for the phosphorylating enzymes APH(3)Ilia (resistance to kanamycin, amikacin and neomycin), and ANT(6)-la (resistance only to streptomycin), respectively. None of the strains harbored the gene ant (4) which encode for the enzyme ANT (4). Conclusion: The low frequency of strains harbouring the bifunctional enzyme (<15%), conferring an extended resistance profile to aminoglycosides, allows us to propose the empirical use of aminoglycoside-aminocyclitols, associated to a penicillin, in the treatment of serious infections produced by species of enterococci

Keywords : Aminoglycosides; Drug resistance, microbial; Enterococcus.

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