Enteroccocci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat some drug-resistant infections caused by enterococci. In some instances, enterococci have become resistant to this drug and thus are called vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Most VRE infections occur in hospitals.

​VRE can live in the human intestines and female genital tract without causing disease (often called colonization). However, sometimes it can cause infections of the urinary tract, the bloodstream, or of wounds associated with catheters or surgical procedures.

Increased risk of VRE:

People who have been previously treated with the antibiotic vancomycin or other antibiotics for long periods of time.

People who are hospitalized, particularly when they receive antibiotic treatment for long periods of time.

People with weakened immune systems such as patients in intensive care units, or in cancer or transplant wards.

People who have undergone surgical procedures such as abdominal or chest surgery.

People with medical devices that stay in for some time such as urinary catheters or central intravenous (IV) catheters.

People who are colonized with VRE.

​Prevention of VRE: 

Keep their hands clean. Always wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before preparing food. Clean their hands after contact with persons who have VRE. Wash with soap and water (particularly when visibly soiled) or use alcohol-based hand rubs.

Frequently clean areas of the home, such as bathrooms, that may become contaminated with VRE. Our home decontamination system is non toxic and works better than any hand cleaning. 

Wear gloves if hands may come in contact with body fluids that may contain VRE, such as stool or bandages from infected wounds. Always wash their hands after removing gloves.

If someone has VRE, be sure to tell healthcare providers so that they are aware of the infection. Healthcare facilities use special precautions to help prevent the spread of VRE to others.

Reference: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/vre/vre.html

​Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE)

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