Journal Article

Coexistence of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci and <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> in the Intestinal Tracts of Hospitalized Patients

Amy J. Ray, Nicole J. Pultz, Anita Bhalla, David C. Aron and Curtis J. Donskey

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 37, issue 7, pages 875-881
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/377451
Coexistence of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci and Staphylococcus aureus in the Intestinal Tracts of Hospitalized Patients

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The potential for transfer of vancomycin-resistance genes from enterococci to Staphylococcus aureus exists when these organisms share an ecologic niche. We performed an 8-month prospective study to determine the frequency at which S. aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) coexist in the intestinal tracts of VRE-colonized patients and evaluated whether antianaerobic antibiotic therapy promoted increased density of S. aureus colonization. Of 37 patients colonized with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, 23 (62%) had S. aureus recovered from stool specimens and 20 (87%) had methicillin-resistant strains. There was no significant difference in the mean density (± standard deviation) of S. aureus during versus ⩾1 month after discontinuation of antianaerobic antibiotic therapy (5.1 ± 1.5 vs. 4.7 ± 1.6 log10 colony-forming units per gram of stool; P = .34). No S. aureus isolates were resistant to vancomycin. S. aureus and VRE often coexist in the intestinal tract, providing a potential reservoir for the emergence of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus isolates.

Journal Article.  3905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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