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What are some treatments for an Enterococcus faecalis infection?

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Some treatments for an Enterococcus faecalis infection are ampicillin, penicillin and vancomycin, says the Public Health Agency of Canada. However, some strains of the bacteria have developed resistance to vancomycin, beta-lactam drugs and aminoglycosides.

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Still other strains of Enterococcus faecalis have shown resistance to tetracyclines, lincosamides, quinolones and chloramphenicol, claims the Public Health Agency of Canada. Medical professionals believe the most effective therapy for an Enterococcus faecalis infection of the heart or for cases of meningitis is vancomycin, penicillin or ampicillin in combination with an aminoglycoside. The first three medications combat the bacteria by attacking its cell wall, while aminoglycosides prevent the bacteria from making necessary proteins, says Drugs.com. Some aminoglycosides include paromomycin, amikacin, tobramycin, neomycin and gentamicin.

If the bacteria have caused a condition such as endocarditis, the patient may need to be hospitalized and have the bacteria delivered intravenously, according to Mayo Clinic. The patient may need to stay in the hospital for as long as six weeks. When he improves enough to leave the hospital, his doctor may continue to administer the antibiotics in his office, or the patient can have the therapy at home. In severe cases of endocarditis, damaged heart valves may need to be repaired or replaced.

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