What is the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection in the US?

Updated: Jun 10, 2021
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

In 1989, VRE was first reported in New York City; subsequently, VRE has spread rapidly throughout the United States. From 1989-1993, the NNIS surveys reported that the percentage of enterococcal isolates exhibiting vancomycin resistance increased from 0.3% to 7.9%, with a 34-fold rise seen in ICUs. In 2003, the percentage of nosocomial enterococcal isolates exhibiting vancomycin resistance in ICU patients increased to more than 28%—an increase of 12% compared with 1998-2002.

NNIS data reveal the pooled mean for VRE species from all ICUs, non-ICU inpatient areas, and outpatient areas were 13.9%, 12%, and 4.6%, respectively, from 1998 through June 2004. VRE was initially isolated mainly in large university hospitals, but subsequent reports demonstrate the presence of significant VRE epidemics in community hospitals and chronic care facilities, whereby a single clone can easily spread. VRE is isolated almost exclusively from hospitalized (or recently hospitalized) individuals.


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