Role of Mobile DNA in the Evolution of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis

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Science  28 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5615, pp. 2071-2074
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080613

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The complete genome sequence of Enterococcus faecalisV583, a vancomycin-resistant clinical isolate, revealed that more than a quarter of the genome consists of probable mobile or foreign DNA. One of the predicted mobile elements is a previously unknownvanB vancomycin-resistance conjugative transposon. Three plasmids were identified, including two pheromone-sensing conjugative plasmids, one encoding a previously undescribed pheromone inhibitor. The apparent propensity for the incorporation of mobile elements probably contributed to the rapid acquisition and dissemination of drug resistance in the enterococci.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ipaulsen{at}

  • Present address: Celera Genomics, 45 West Gude Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

  • Present address: Bristol-Myers Squibb PRI, 5 Research Parkway, Wallingford, CT 06492, USA.

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