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Antimicrobial Resistance of Enterococci Isolated from Mastitic Bovine Milk Samples in Korea


H.-M. Nam. Bacteriology and Parasitology Division, National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, 480, Anyang 6-dong, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, 430-824, Republic of Korea. Tel.: +82-31-467-1772; Fax: +82-31-467-1778; E-mail:


The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial resistance of various species of enterococci isolated from mastitic bovine milk samples. A total of 105 enterococci isolates were examined: Enterococcus faecalis (n = 47), Enterococcus faecium (n = 39), Enterococcus gallinarum (n = 6), Enterococcus avium (n = 6), Enterococcus hirae (n = 5) and Enterococcus durans (n = 2). All the isolates were susceptible to ampicillin, gentamicin and vancomycin, and only a single E. hirae isolate was resistant to ampicillin. In general, the most frequently observed resistance among the enterococcal isolates was to tetracycline (69.5%), followed by penicillin (64.7%), erythromycin (57.1%) and cephalothin (44.7%). A similar antimicrobial resistance pattern was observed among individual species except E. durans, which exhibited only tetracycline resistance. Resistance observed among isolates of E. hirae and E. gallinarum was almost as high as E. faecium and E. faecalis. Of 105 isolates, only six (5.7%) strains of E. faecium were susceptible to all the antimicrobials tested and about 52% (55/105) showed resistance to more than three antimicrobials. The most common multiple resistance pattern was penicillin, tetracycline and erythromycin, which was observed in 32 of 105 (30.4%) isolates. This study demonstrates that enterococcal isolates belonging to minor species showed antimicrobial resistance rates as high as those of E. faecium and E. faecalis, and that monitoring of antimicrobial resistance should not be restricted only to those two major species.