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      Genome-based studies indicate that the Enterococcus faecium Clade B strains belong to Enterococcus lactis species and lack of the hospital infection associated markers

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          Abstract

          Enterococcus lactis and the heterotypic synonym Enterococcus xinjiangensis from dairy origin have recently been identified as a novel species based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Enterococcus faecium type strain NCTC 7171 T was used as the reference genome for determining E. lactis and E. faecium to be separate species. However, this taxonomic classification did not consider the diverse lineages of E. faecium , and the double nature of hospital-associated (clade A) and community-associated (clade B) isolates. Here, we investigated the taxonomic relationship among isolates of E. faecium of different origins and E. lactis , using a genome-based approach. Additional to 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, we estimated the relatedness among strains and species using phylogenomics based on the core pangenome, multilocus sequence typing, the average nucleotide identity and digital DNA–DNA hybridization. Moreover, following the available safety assessment schemes, we evaluated the virulence profile and the ampicillin resistance of E. lactis and E. faecium clade B strains. Our results confirmed the genetic and evolutionary differences between clade A and the intertwined clade B and E. lactis group. We also confirmed the absence in these strains of virulence gene markers IS16, hyl Efm and esp and the lack of the PBP5 allelic profile associated with ampicillin resistance. Taken together, our findings support the reassignment of the strains of E. faecium clade B as E. lactis .

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          Enterococci: Between Emerging Pathogens and Potential Probiotics

          Enterococci are ubiquitous microorganisms that could be found everywhere; in water, plant, soil, foods, and gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. They were previously used as starters in food fermentation due to their biotechnological traits (enzymatic and proteolytic activities) or protective cultures in food biopreservation due to their produced antimicrobial bacteriocins called enterocins or as probiotics, live cells with different beneficial characteristics such as stimulation of immunity, anti-inflammatory activity, hypocholesterolemic effect, and prevention/treatment of some diseases. However, in the last years, the use of enterococci in foods or as probiotics caused an important debate because of their opportunistic pathogenicity implicated in several nosocomial infections due to virulence factors and antibiotic resistance, particularly the emergence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci. These virulence traits of some enterococci are associated with genetic transfer mechanisms. Therefore, the development of new enterococcal probiotics needs a strict assessment with regard to safety aspects for selecting the truly harmless enterococcal strains for safe applications. This review tries to give some data of the different points of view about this question.
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            Evolution of virulence in Enterococcus faecium, a hospital-adapted opportunistic pathogen.

            Enterococci are long-standing members of the human microbiome and they are also widely distributed in nature. However, with the surge of antibiotic-resistance in recent decades, two enterococcal species (Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium) have emerged to become significant nosocomial pathogens, acquiring extensive antibiotic resistance. In this review, we summarize what is known about the evolution of virulence in E. faecium, highlighting a specific clone of E. faecium called ST796 that has emerged recently and spread globally.
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              Comparative genome analysis reveals key genetic factors associated with probiotic property in Enterococcus faecium strains

              Background Enterococcus faecium though commensal in the human gut, few strains provide a beneficial effect to humans as probiotics while few are responsible for the nosocomial infection. Comparative genomics of E. faecium can decipher the genomic differences responsible for probiotic, pathogenic and non-pathogenic properties. In this study, we compared E. faecium strain 17OM39 with a marketed probiotic, non-pathogenic non-probiotic (NPNP) and pathogenic strains. Results E. faecium 17OM39 was found to be closely related with marketed probiotic strain T110 based on core genome analysis. Strain 17OM39 was devoid of known vancomycin, tetracycline resistance and functional virulence genes. Moreover, E. faecium 17OM39 genome was found to be more stable due to the absence of frequently found transposable elements. Genes imparting beneficial functional properties were observed to be present in marketed probiotic T110 and 17OM39 strains. Genes associated with colonization and survival within gastrointestinal tract was also detected across all the strains. Conclusions Beyond shared genetic features; this study particularly identified genes that are responsible for imparting probiotic, non-pathogenic and pathogenic features to the strains of E. faecium. Higher genomic stability, absence of known virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes and close genomic relatedness with marketed probiotics makes E. faecium 17OM39 a potential probiotic candidate. The work presented here demonstrates that comparative genome analyses can be applied to large numbers of genomes, to find potential probiotic candidates. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s12864-018-5043-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
                Microbiology Society
                1466-5026
                1466-5034
                August 18 2021
                August 18 2021
                : 71
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari per Una Filiera Agro-Alimentare Sostenibile (DISTAS), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza-Cremona, Italy
                Article
                10.1099/ijsem.0.004948
                34402778
                659c24b8-2215-434e-959f-d5a716f6737a
                © 2021
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