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Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Infection
(VRE; Multiply-Resistant Enterococci)
by Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
Enterococci are bacteria that commonly live in the:
In some cases, it can cause an infection. When this happens, the antibiotic vancomycin 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.
VRE is caused by specific bacteria. It can be living in your body or transmitted from contaminated people or objects.
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chance of VRE include:
Symptoms depend on where the infection is found. Each infection has its own symptoms.
VRE can cause the following complications:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Samples will be taken of your blood and any othe location where infection id suspected. A lab test is done to find which bacteria is causing the infection and see what antibiotics can kill the bacteria.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
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 will also be based on the antibiotic sensitivity of the infection and how severe it is.
If the infection is in your bladder and you have a urinary catheter in place, you may have the catheter removed as soon as it is possible. This decreases the risk of further infection.
Any other indwelling lines may also be removed and replaced as needed.
To help reduce your chance of getting VRE, take the following steps:
In some hospitals, screening tests are done for patients at high-risk for VRE.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated April 8, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 8, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2016.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in healthcare settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 10, 2011. Accessed February 24, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 6/19/2014
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