Enterococcus spp

From Dog
Enterococcus faecalis blood culture[1]

Enterococcus spp are a collective group of bacteria[2] which are part of the normal fecal microbiota that rarely cause opportunistic nosocomial infections in critically ill dogs.

Species which have been reported in dogs include:

  • Enterococcus faecalis[3]
  • Enterococcus gallinarum
  • Enterococcus casseliflavus[4]
  • Enterococcus faecium (used as a probiotic)[5]

These bacteria are normally nonpathogenic residents of the dog gastrointestinal tract, but can cause periodontitis, gastroenteritis and systemic diseases such as peritonitis, osteomyelitis and endocarditis.

In the past decade, ampicillin-resistant enterococci have become prevalent among dogs and/or cats in Italy, Belgium, Portugal and the U.S.[6].

They have also been isolated from the canine urinary tract associated with cystitis[7][8]

These bacteria are often resistant to most antimicrobials, especially vancomycin and ampicillin. E. faecium resistant to ampicillin was recently reported among Danish and English dogs. Enterococcal isolates show high resistance to ampicillin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, rifampin, followed by low frequency of resistance to gentamicin, linezolid and streptogramins[9].


  1. Textbook of Bacteriology
  2. de Regt MJ et al (2012) Hospital and community ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium are evolutionarily closely linked but have diversified through niche adaptation. PLoS One 7(2):e30319
  3. Ghosh A et al (2011) Dogs leaving the ICU carry a very large multi-drug resistant enterococcal population with capacity for biofilm formation and horizontal gene transfer. PLoS One 6(7):e22451
  4. López M et al (2012) Study of Vancomycin Resistance in Faecal Enterococci from Healthy Humans and Dogs in Spain a Decade after the Avoparcin Ban in Europe. Zoonoses Public Health May 31
  5. Kwon KH et al (2012) Detection of CC17 Enterococcus faecium in dogs and a comparison with human isolates. Zoonoses Public Health 59(6):375-378
  6. Jackson CR et al (2009) Prevalence, species distribution and antimicrobial resistance of enterococci isolated from dogs and cats in the United States. J Appl Microbiol 107:1269–1278
  7. Boerlin P et al (2001) Transmission of opportunistic pathogens in a veterinary teaching hospital. Vet Microbiol 82:347–359
  8. Simjee S et a (2002) Characterization of Tn1546 in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated from canine urinary tract infections: evidence of gene exchange between human and animal enterococci. J Clin Microbiol 40:4659–4665
  9. Damborg P et al (2009) Dogs are a reservoir of ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium lineages associated with human infections. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:2360–2365