Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) (cont.)
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Enterococci can survive for months. It primarily resides in the human digestive system and the female genital tract; the enterococci make up a significant part of the normal bacterial population of these sites in healthy people.
However, colonization can progress to infection, particularly for people with certain risk factors. The infection can lead to diseases of the urinary tract, bloodstream, heart valves (endocarditis), and brain (meningitis), as well as to serious infections in open wounds.
Some of the risks for acquiring VRE infection are
Enterococcal infections are more common in elderly people, particularly those in long-term care facilities and skilled nursing homes because they are more likely to experience infection risk factors, such as exposure to medical instruments.