Drug resistance in fecal enterococci in Hong Kong

Maureen Boost, Lydia Lai, Margaret May O'Donoghue

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Our purpose was to estimate the rate of carriage of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in hospitalized patients in a district hospital and in healthy subjects in the community in Hong Kong. Rectal swabs were collected from all patients admitted to the intensive care unit, and stool specimens were collected from all patients presenting with suspected antibiotic-associated diarrhea over a 2-month period. Stool specimens were also collected from healthy subjects in the community. Specimens were enriched and cultured on selective media for the isolation of enterococci. All isolates were identified, and their minimum inhibitory concentration for vancomycin was determined. Susceptibility to other antibiotics was investigated. Samples yielded 125 isolates of enterococci, the majority of isolates being Enterococcus faecalls (75) and E. faecium (35). Nine of 11 strains of E. gallinarum and 2 of 2 strains of E. casseliflavus isolated from hospitalized patients were intermediately resistant to vancomycin, but no strains highly resistant to vancomycin were isolated. Resistance to other drugs, including the fluoroquinolones, was present, and a high-level resistance to gentamicin and streptomycin was found in 37% and 46% of strains, respectively. Colonization with VRE remains low in Hong Kong. This result is supported by the low level of isolation of VRE from infections in the region and may be attributable to low levels of vancomycin use. High-level aminoglycoside resistance and fluoroquinolone resistance are common, and continued monitoring for VRE is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Community subjects
  • Enterococci
  • Vancomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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