Genomic DNA extracted from 45 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) isolates was cleaved with HindIII and HaeIII and subjected to agarose gel electrophoresis. The ability of this method (restriction endonuclease analysis [REA]) to distinguish strains at the subspecies level was compared with results previously determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Chart reviews were performed to provide a clinical correlation of possible epidemiologic relatedness. A likely clinical association was found for 29 patients as part of two outbreaks. REA found 21 of 21 isolates were the same type in the first outbreak, with PFGE calling 19 strains the same type. In the second outbreak with eight patient isolates, HindIII found six were the same type and two were unique types. HaeIII found three strains were the same type, two strains were a separate type, and three more strains were unique types, while PFGE found three were the same type and five were unique types. No single 'ideal' method can be used without clinical epidemiologic investigation, but any of these techniques is helpful in providing focus to infection control practitioners assessing possible outbreaks of nosocomial infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)