The bacterial species Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis are part of the healthy intestinal flora in humans and animals. Only when they colonize the throat or genital region do the pathogens cause discomfort. Enterococci live in soil, water, and wastewater as well as on plant and animal food. Some strains have natural resistance to antibiotics. Enterococcus faecium, for example, is resistant to vancomycin. Multiresistant enterococci can often be found in intensive care units in particular, with resistance to substances of the active-substance classes penicillins, fluoroquinolones, and aminoglycosides, among others.
The germ is mainly transmitted through direct or indirect contact with contaminated people or objects. It is particularly dangerous for immunocompromised hospital patients.
Enterococci can cause urinary tract infections, peritonitis, sepsis, or endocarditis. They are often part of a mixed flora. Administering antibiotics can cause resistant enterococci to multiply even more, and eventually reach the sites of infection and cause diseases there.
The main problem in the case of an enterococci infection is its partially pronounced antibiotic resistance. Multi-resistant strains are hardly accessible with antibiotic therapy. Enterococci are frequent causes of postoperative wound, urinary tract and blood flow infections. Rarely are they the cause of lower respiratory tract infections and diarrhoea.
5 days to 4 months
The necessary spectrum of activity against enterococci is: bactericidal