Enterococcus faecium

Enterococcus faecium

Enterococcus faecium is a Gram-positive bacterium. In appearance, it is a spherical cell that can occur in pairs or chains. The colonies formed are 1-2 mm in length and appear wet. It can be commensal in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, however, it may also be pathogenic, causing diseases such as neonatal meningitis or endocarditis.


E. faecium infections are those acquired in medical setting during treatment of a prior complaint. Enterococci can be found on surfaces which have been touched by unwashed hands particularly following bathroom use. In hospitals, it can be picked up from surfaces or objects contaminated with enterococci very easily. It may also be spread directly from person to person particularly from healthcare workers hands if they are not cleansed between contact with patients. The microbe can survive for long periods of time in soil, sewage, and inside hospitals on a variety of surfaces.


E. faecalis normally lives harmlessly in your intestines. However, if it spreads to other parts of your body it can cause a more serious infection. These symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain when you breathe
  • Stiff neck
  • Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums

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