Virulence factors in enterococcal infections of orthopedic devices

Lucilla Baldassarri, R. Creti, S. Recchia, M. Pataracchia, G. Alfarone, G. Orefici, D. Campoccia, L. Montanaro, Carla Renata Arciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enterococci are opportunistic pathogens which today represent one of the leading causes of nosocomial infections. We have examined a collection of 52 Enterococcus faecalis isolated from orthopedic infections to determine if they were characterized by a specific pattern of virulence factors. The isolates were evaluated for biofilm formation, presence of genes coding the enterococcal surface protein (esp) and (gelE), as well as for gelatinase production. While the rate of esp-positive isolates was comparable to that found among strains from other clinical sources, we found a significantly higher rate of strong biofilm formers and gelatinase producers. Particularly high was the rate of gelE-carrying strains expressing the gene. Data suggest that these two factors in particular may play an important role in enterococcal infections associated with biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Biofilm
  • Enterococci
  • Gelatinase
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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