What environmental measures can reduce the risk of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) transmission?

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

The risk of VRE acquisition in hospitalized patients is increased when environmental culture results are positive and/or when a room has been occupied by a patient with VRE colonization or infection. [66] Adequate environmental cleaning should be a priority. Simple educational interventions directed at the housekeeping staff can improve decontamination of environmental surfaces. [67]

Bathing of hospitalized patients should reduce the bacterial burden, including drug-resistant bacteria such as VRE. Daily bathing with chlorhexidine-impregnated bathing cloths was shown to reduce colonization of patients' skin, health care workers' hands, and environmental surfaces, as well as the incidence of VRE acquisition by other patients in one intensive care unit. [68]

In conclusion, active surveillance cultures for VRE, use of isolation for colonized and infected patients, appropriate antibiotic use, adequate patient care, and environmental cleaning are important interventions that should be implemented in order to control the transmission of VRE. [69]


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