Enterococcus faecalis

Definition

Non-motile, gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, microbial species that normally dwells in the gastrointestinal tract and (female) genital tract of humans and other mammals; may become pathogenic, especially in nosocomial environment, and cause life-threatening conditions mainly because of the high antibiotic resistance associated with this group


Supplement

The species is formerly known as Streptococcus faecalis, also known as Group D of the genus Streptococcus. However, DNA analysis showed that this species is more closely related to the genus Enteroccoccus.

E. faecalis is an opportunist pathogen, which means that it is a commensal in the gastrointestinal tract; however, when the immune function is compromised, the microbe can grow in number and becomes pathogenic. Some of the commonly associated human diseases caused by E. faecalis are as follows:

E. faecalis is commercially used as probiotics in feeds for cattle and poultry animals since it is found to diminish diarrhea in these animals.


Scientific classification:

  • Domain: Bacteria
  • Kingdom: Eubacteria
  • Phylum: Firmicutes
  • Class: Bacilli
  • Order: Lactobacillales
  • Family: Enterococcaceae
  • Genus: Enterococcus

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