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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