Enterococci are important nosocomial pathogens due to their intrinsic multiresistance and the acquisition of new antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Enterococcus faecalis has been shown to be one of the main pathogens in persistent endodontic infections, therefore, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the phenotype and resistance genotype of strains of E. faecalis isolated from teeth with persistent endodontic lesions, to the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in dentistry. Thirteen strains of E. faecalis of different pulsotype were analyzed to evaluate the susceptibility to antibiotics, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, tetracycline, erythromycin and metronidazole, using the Epsilometer test (E- test) and the presence of beta-lactamases with nitrocefin test. Finally, the detection of ARG was performed with a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique and confirmed by the sequencing of the amplification products. Fisher’s exact test was used, using 95 % confidence. Regarding the phenotype of resistance, the evaluated strains, independent of the pulsotype, were totally resistant to the action of metronidazole. Antibiotics with higher minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) after metronidazole include tetracycline and erythromycin. In contrast, lower MIC are applied to the combination of amoxicillin with clavulanic acid. The nitrocefin test was positive only in one strain. Genotypically, two genetically distant strains isolated from a single patient, presented a genotype of resistance to erythromycin, determined by the presence of the ermB gene. No statistically significant relationship was found between phenotypic resistance and the presence of ARG in relation to erythromycin (p> 0.05). It was concluded that isolates of E. faecalis from persistent endodontic infections showed phenotypes of resistance to several antimicrobial agents, all of which were susceptible to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Periodic evaluation of susceptibility to antibiotics is suggested as an important practice for the surveillance of antibiotic resistance in oral strains.
KEY WORDS: E. faecalis, antibiotic resistance, persistent endodontic lesions, antibiotic resistance genes.
How to cite this article
SEGUEL, N.; QUEZADA-AGUILUZ, M.; GONZÁLEZ-ROCHA, G.; BELLO-TOLEDO, H. & SÁNCHEZ-SANHUEZA, G. Antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus faecalis from persistent endodontic infections. Int. J. Odontostomat., 13(3):448-456, 2020.