Clinical and food enterococci the significance of their antibiotic resistance

Joana Barbosa, Helena Albano, Paula Teixeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The resistance of enterococci to several antibiotics is leading to therapeutic difficulties worldwide. Their ability to acquire resistance to many other antimicrobial agents is also a concern, together with the fact that they could easily transfer multiple resistance genes to other pathogenic microorganisms. Since Enterococcus spp. are part of the microbiota of the digestive tract of humans and animals, they are widely distributed in the environment and in different foods. Their prevalence in food is associated with their resistance to various types of food preservation and processing. Since the food chain is one of the main routes of transmission of enterococci, their prevalence is a problem, namely transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from food to human isolates. In recent years, the resistance to first- and second-choice antibiotics has also been increasing, becoming not only a medical concern but also a public health problem. Highlevel resistance to a wide range of antibiotics, together with the presence of other virulence factors, indicates the potential role of enterococci as effective opportunists in nosocomial infections, acquiring increased significance in these infections that are becoming more and more difficult to treat. This review summarizes the different antibiotic resistances that are being found in enterococci isolates from food and clinical cases and also its possible relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Bacteriology Research Developments
EditorsCary G. Henderson
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781536193169
ISBN (Print)9781536192407
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameBacteriology Research Developments


  • Acquired resistance
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Intrinsic resistance


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