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Antibiotic resistance and adhesion properties of oral Enterococci associated to dental caries

Bochra Kouidhi1*, Tarek Zmantar1, Kacem Mahdouani2, Hajer Hentati3 and Amina Bakhrouf1

Author affiliations

1 Laboratoire d'Analyses, Traitement et Valorisation des Polluants de l'Environnement et des Produits, Faculté de Pharmacie, rue Avicenne 5000, Université de Monastir (Tunisie

2 Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire, Hôpital Régionale de Kairouan, (Tunisie

3 Service de Médecine et chirurgie buccales Clinique hospitalo-universitaire d'Odontologie, Université de Monastir (Tunisie

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Citation and License

BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:155  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-155

Published: 29 June 2011



Enterococci are increasingly associated with opportunistic infections in Humans but the role of the oral cavity as a reservoir for this species is unclear. This study aimed to explore the carriage rate of Enterococci in the oral cavity of Tunisian children and their antimicrobial susceptibility to a broad range of antibiotics together with their adherence ability to abiotic and biotic surfaces.


In this study, 17 E. faecalis (27.5%) and 4 E. faecium (6.5%) were detected. The identified strains showed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Among the 17 isolated E. faecalis, 12 strains (71%) were slime producers and 5 strains were non-producers. Among the 4 E. faecium, 2 strains were slime producers. All the tested strains were able to adhere to at least one of the two tested cell lines. Our result showed that 11 E. faecalis and 2 E. faecium strains adhered strongly to Hep-2 as well as to A549 cells.


Drugs resistance and strong biofilm production abilities together with a high phenotypic adhesion to host cells are important equipment in E. faecalis and E. faecium which lead to their oral cavity colonization and focal infections.