Enterococcus faecalis is a highly stress resistant opportunistic pathogen. The intrinsic ruggedness of this bacterium is supposed to be the basis of its capacity to colonize the hostile environments of hospitals and to cause several kinds of infections. We show in this work that general resistance to very different environmental stresses depends on the ability of E. faecalis to maintain redox balance via lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Furthermore, LDH-deficient mutants are less successful than the wild type at colonizing host organs in a murine model of systemic infection. Taken together, our results, as well as those previously published for Staphylococcus aureus (A. R. Richardson, S. J. Libby, and F. C. Fang, Science 319:1672-1676, 2008), identify LDH as an attractive drug target. These drugs may have additional applications, as in the fight against glycopeptide antibiotic-resistant bacteria and even cancer.
- Enterococcus faecalis