Treatment of enterococcal infections is often difficult because of intrinsic and acquired resistance to a variety of antimicrobial agents. Between January 1993 and May 1997, enterococci were isolated from blood cultures of 117 patients at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Eightynine (76%) isolates were phenotypically identified as Enterococcus faecalis, and 24 (21%) as Enterococcus faecium. All E. faecalis isolates, but only 17% of the E. faecium isolates were susceptible to ampicillin. Two E. faecium isolates (8%) but no E. faecalis were vancomycin resistant (vanA genotype). Quinupristin/dalfopristin shows a high degree of susceptiblity of E. faecium (79%) and may be suitable for the therapy of infections caused by glycopeptide-resistant E. faecium strains.

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