In some cases, it can cause an infection. When this happens, the antibiotic
may be given to cure the infection.
However, some types of the bacteria are resistant to vancomycin. When the bacteria are resistant, the infection is not cured. This is called vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection. It is common in hospitals and long-term care facilities. It is very dangerous to those who are critically ill.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is common in hospitals and long-term care facilities. It is particularly dangerous to those who are critically ill. If you think you have this condition, tell your doctor right away.
A number of species cause VRE infection, but the most common are:
These factors increase your chance of developing VRE:
Having enterococci growing (colonizing) in your body (most commonly in the intestines)
Being in contact with an infected person or in contact with contaminated surfaces (eg, tables, door knobs)
Being previously treated with vancomycin or another antibiotic for a long time
Being hospitalized (eg, intensive care unit, cancer ward, transplant ward) or being in a long-term care facility
Having a weakened immune system
Having certain conditions (eg,
Being treated with corticosteroids, parenteral feeding, or
—infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
Each infection has its own symptoms. Your doctor will discuss these symptoms with you.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A lab test is done to diagnose VRE and to rule out other conditions.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
VRE can be treated with other types of antibiotics. Tests can be done to find out which ones will work. The type that is chosen is based on the kind of infection and how severe it is. Common antibiotics used to treat VRE include:
Task Force of Antimicrobial Resistance (TFAR). Guidelines for the prevention and control of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in long-term care facilities. South Dakota Department of Health website. Available at:
. Accessed August 11, 2008.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated June 2008. Accessed August 11, 2008.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a