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Keywords:

  • Ampicillin resistance;
  • colonisation;
  • ecological replacement;
  • Enterococcus faecium;
  • risk-factors

Abstract

The proportion of enterococcal infections caused by ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (AREfm) in a European hospital increased from 2% in 1994 to 32% in 2005, with prevalence rates of AREfm endemicity of up to 35% in at least six hospital wards. Diabetes mellitus, three or more admissions in the preceding year, and use of β-lactams and fluoroquinolones, were all associated with AREfm colonisation. Of 217 AREfm isolates that were genotyped, 97% belonged to clonal complex 17 (CC17). This ecological change mimics events preceding the emergence of vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VREF) in the USA and may presage the emergence of CC17 VREF in European hospitals.