Background: Enterococci and especially glycopeptide-resistant strains (GRE) are widely distributed in the hospital environment, by acquiring resistance determinants and virulence factors. Methods: The study included 48 GRE isolated during a 1-year period from different inpatients in a tertiary hospital in southwestern Greece. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by the Etest, and the presence of resistance and virulence genes was shown by PCR. Clonal types were identified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of Sma I DNA digests. Results: All GRE were multi-resistant of the VanA phenotype, verified by the detection of the gene by PCR. Two major clones were distributed in all hospital wards. The majority of the strains (46 of 48) harbored the esp gene, while 27 GRE expressed also the gelE and/or as genes. Conclusions: The spread of two clones expressing the vanA gene and virulence factors were responsible for the emergence of GRE in the University Hospital of Patras.

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