Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
bacteria that commonly live in the bowel and are usually resistant to many
antibiotics. VRE are enterococci that have become resistant to the antibiotic
There are only a few antibiotics that are able to treat VRE
infections. However, newer antibiotics are being developed.
People can be
colonized with VRE, meaning that the bacteria are living harmlessly in the
VRE causes infection when it invades the bloodstream or spreads locally.
It can also be introduced directly into a wound.
Infection is more likely in
patients with chronic diseases like diabetes or patients who have recently
received antibiotics. It is also more common in patients with indwelling devices
like intravenous lines or urinary catheters and those with compromised immune
VRE can cause many types of infections (for example, bloodstream
infection [sepsis], urinary infection, abscesses, wound infections, pneumonia,
heart infections [endocarditis] or meningitis).
To avoid spreading VRE from
person to person, it is important to wash or decontaminate hands frequently,
including before and after touching the patient or his/her environment. In the
hospital, staff will also wear gowns and gloves when caring for a person with
The risk of VRE infection can be reduced by minimizing the use of
indwelling devices such as intravenous lines and urinary catheters. The risk is
also reduced by eliminating inappropriate use of antibiotics.
Lin, M.Y., and M.K. Hayden. "Methicillin-Resistant
Staphylococcus Aureus and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus:
Recognition and Prevention in Intensive Care Units." Crit Care Med. 38.8 Aug. 2010: S335-44.