• Enterococcus faecium;
  • resistance to amoxycillin;
  • molecular epidemiology;
  • risk factors


Over 3 years, during six 1-month periods of surveillance, 69 cases of Enterococcus faecium colonisation or infection were detected in a university hospital in eastern France. Thirty-two cases involved strains resistant to amoxycillin (crude incidence of 0.21/1000 patient-days). The risk of infection with E. faecium was higher if the patient was hospitalised in a haematology ward and/or treated with cephalosporins. Amoxycillin-resistant isolates (AmRE) were isolated from different wards and time periods, and none of the characteristics studied were associated significantly with amoxycillin resistance. Amoxycillin-sensitive and -resistant isolates were characterised by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Three epidemic patterns were identified which contained 87.5% (28/32) of the AmRE isolates, indicating that clonal spread was responsible, at least partially, for the high incidence of AmRE in this hospital.