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Phage and Enterococcus faecium

Lytic phages target, infect and lyse Enterococcus faecium (E. faecium) and have anti-biofilm activity, making them a possible therapeutic option. With comprehensive knowledge about phage and (E. faecium), Creative Biolabs offers support for the development of therapeutic phage against E. faecium.

Enterococcus faecium

E. faecium is a Gram-positive, non-spore-forming bacterium commonly found in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, or vagina of humans and animals. Although E. faecium is a low but common member of the human gut, it is also an important opportunistic pathogen. E. faecium infection may lead to meningitis, endocarditis, bacteremia, urinary tract infection, wound infection and may become a major member of the intestinal flora after disturbance of the body flora and cause serious infection.

Drug Resistance of Enterococcus faecium

As the deadliest and most virulent of all Enterococcus strains, E. faecium has developed resistance to a variety of drugs, including beta-lactams, glycopeptides, aminoglycosides, vancomycin, and kolanin. Most E. faecium isolated from root canal and periodontal infections also showed high levels of resistance to tetracycline/erythromycin commonly used in dental surgery. Vancomycin-resistant E. faecium earns a place on the list of priority pathogens published by the World Health Organization to encourage the development of new microbial antagonists to combat this pathogen. Strains commonly used for phage culture and amplification of Enterococcus faecium include KACC 11954 KACC 10782, and ATCC 19950.

Control of Enterococcus faecium populations by bacteriophage STH1.Fig.1 Control of Enterococcus faecium populations by bacteriophage STH1. (Raza, 2018)

Phage and Phage Interaction for Enterococcus faecium

In various studies, dozens of lytic phages against E. faecium have been isolated from domestic sewage, animal farm sewage or human feces, including vB_EfaS-271, vB_ZEFP, PBEF129, etc. These phages mainly belong to the families of Siphoviridae, Myoviridae, and Podoviridae.

Depending on the phage species, the bacterial surface receptors they recognize vary, and these receptors may include bacterial wall membrane proteins, wall teichoic acids, lipoteichoic acids, or polysaccharides. After the E. faecium phage recognizes a suitable host bacterium, its substrate undergoes an irreversible conformational change and injects its own genetic material into the bacterium to produce progeny virions. The end product of gene expression, endolysin, is responsible for breaking down bacterial peptidoglycan during the lytic cycle and releasing the synthesized phage.

Electron micrograph and one-step growth curve of Enterococcus feacium phage.Fig.2 Electron micrograph and one-step growth curve of Enterococcus feacium phage. (Melo, 2019)

The high drug resistance of Enterococcus faecium makes bacteriophage an alternative strategy for specific pathogen control. With our strong technology platform and cutting-edge theoretical knowledge, Creative Biolabs provides a full range of support for our customers to develop promising therapeutic phages against Enterococcus faecium. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.


  1. Raza, T.; et al. Isolation and characterization of a phage to control Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. Open Life Science. 2018, 13: 553-560.
  2. Melo, L.D.R.; et al. Efficacy and safety assessment of two Enterococci phages in an in vitro biofilm wound model. Scientific Reports. 2019, 9: 6643.
For Research Use Only. Do NOT use in humans.

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