Enterococcus faecalis isolates of porcine origin were screened for the presence of a previously identified pathogenicity island (PAI). By using the esp gene as a genetic marker for the presence of this PAI, 9 esp-positive and 10 esp-negative isolates of porcine origin were investigated by use of a designed oligonucleotide array. The results indicated the clustering of esp-positive strains by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), but surprisingly, all strains investigated contained parts of the PAL None of the strains of animal origin investigated belonged to previously identified MLST complex 2, where most isolates from patients cluster. Five of the nine esp-positive E. faecalis isolates of animal origin belonged to the same PAI complex as human isolate MMH594 but differed in their sequence types, which strongly indicates the horizontal transfer of the PAI between enterococci of porcine and human origin.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2006, Vol 44, Issue 11, p. 4200-4203