Munson Health
 
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Infection

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by Stahl RJ

(VRE; Multiply-Resistant Enterococci)

 

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on where the infection is found. VRE can cause the following:
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Intra-abdominal and pelvic infection
  • Surgical wound infection
  • Sepsis—an infection or its toxin spreading through the bloodstream
  • Endocarditis—an infection of the inner surface of the heart muscles and valves
  • Neonatal sepsis—a blood infection occurring in infants
  • Meningitis—an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
Each infection has its own symptoms.
 

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of getting VRE, take the following steps:
  • Use proper hand-washing techniques . This is the best way to prevent VRE. Hand washing is especially important:
    • After using the bathroom
    • Before preparing food
    • After being in contact with someone who has VRE
  • Clean and disinfect areas of your home that may be contaminated with VRE. This included the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Wear gloves if you are caring for someone with VRE. If you will have contact with bodily fluids, wear a gown over your clothing. Also, clean the person’s room and linens.
  • If you are prescribed vancomycin, talk to your doctor. Taking this antibiotic is a risk factor for the bacteria to colonize in your body and for you to get VRE.
  • If you have VRE, tell your doctor. Hospitals take special precautions when they know a patient is infected.
In some hospitals, screening tests are done for patients at high-risk for VRE.
 

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

National Institutes of Health
http://www.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

 

References


Huycke MM, Sahm DF, Gilmore MS. Multiple-drug resistant enterococci: the nature of the problem and an agenda for the future. Emerg Infect Diseases. 1998 April-June;4(2).


Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 10, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2014.


Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/antimicrobialResistance/Examples/vre/Pages/default.aspx. Updated March 8, 2012. Accessed June 19, 2014.


Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in healthcare settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/vre/vre.html. Updated May 10, 2011. Accessed June 19, 2014.

 

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