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Enterococcal Infections

By

Larry M. Bush

, MD, FACP, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University

Last full review/revision Mar 2021| Content last modified Mar 2021
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There are more than 17 species of enterococci. Many species normally occupy the intestinal tract and do not usually cause disease. These bacteria, called resident flora Resident Flora Healthy people live in harmony with most of the microorganisms that establish themselves on or in (colonize) nonsterile parts of the body, such as the skin, nose, mouth, throat, large intestine... read more , cause disease only under certain circumstances—for example, when they enter other parts of the body.

Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are the species that most commonly cause infections in people.

Enterococci typically cause the following:

Symptoms depend on the location of the infection.

Doctors give antibiotics and drain any abscesses. Certain strains of enterococci have become resistant to many antibiotics Antibiotic resistance Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms. They are among the earliest known life forms on earth. There are thousands of different kinds of bacteria, and they live in every conceivable... read more and can be difficult to treat. Strains that are resistant to vancomycin are particularly problematic.

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a viral infection that progressively destroys certain white blood cells. Untreated, it usually leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Transmission of HIV requires contact with bodily fluid that contains the virus or cells infected with the virus. Which of the following is not a bodily fluid that commonly transmits HIV? 
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