Our experiences with vancomycin-resistant enterococci in Jesenice General hospital
Background: Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) present a great problem in health care, especially because of their resistance to many groups of antibiotics and because of the way of their spreading in health care and long-term care institutions. Genes responsible for resistance to vancomycin can be transmitted to other species of enterococci and also to other grampositive cocci, for example Staphylococcus aureus. Experts anticipate that failure to control methicilin-resistant S. aureus and VRE may make control of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus impossible.
Methods: In the medical microbiology laboratory of Institute Public Health Kranj we perform microbiology diagnosis for Jesenice General Hospital, where surveillance culturing for VRE started in May 2007. Until 15th June, 364 surveillance samples for VRE were taken from 92 patients. We also analysed the results of enterococci that were isolated in our laboratory during routine work in the period from 2004 to 2006.
Results: In the three-year period we isolated 1593 strains of enterococci and among them 7 strains were VRE. In the Jesenice General Hospital, the first strain of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium was isolated in May 2007 in a patient, treated in internal intensive care unit. Nine strains of VRE with the same resistance type in nine patients followed the first case. The first four patients with VRE were moved from the same hospital. Among next six patients the common risk factor was contact with VRE positive patient.
Conclusions: Control of VRE strains claims for intensive action. Active surveillance of colonised and infected patients, contact precautions with barrier isolation, intensive hand hygiene measures, aggressive environmental decontamination and prudent use of antimicrobials are needed.
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