Journal Article

Not All Patients with Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Need To Be Isolated

S. Tschudin Sutter, R. Frei, M. Dangel, A. Gratwohl, M. Bonten and A. F. Widmer

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 6, pages 678-683
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/655824
Not All Patients with Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Need To Be Isolated

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Background. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have triggered multiple outbreaks. However, VRE of genotype vanC appear not to be associated with outbreaks. The goal of this study was to estimate the risk of bloodstream infections in patients colonized with VRE of genotype vanC who received care from a bone marrow transplant unit for patients with leukemia, where only standard precautions were implemented for VRE of genotype vanC during the last 9 years.

Methods. Since 2000, all patients in the bone marrow transplant unit underwent routine VRE rectal screening, data were prospectively entered in a database, and isolates were molecularly characterized. Infection control policy required contact isolation for patients infected with VRE of genotype vanA or vanB but only standard precautions for patients infected with VRE of genotype vanC.

Results. From January 2000 to July 2008, 290 isolates of VRE of genotype vanC obtained from 273 different patients were identified, with an incidence of 25–43 isolates/year. Of 290 isolates, 285 (98%) were identified in rectal screening swabs, 5 were from other body sites, and none required specific treatment. During the entire study period, only 1 case of bloodstream infection was detected, reflecting an incidence of 1 (0.4%) of the 273 patients, or <0.2 cases per 1000 patient-days. No outbreaks were recorded.

Conclusions. These data provide strong evidence that carriers of VRE of genotype vanC do not require contact isolation, thereby saving resources and potentially improving patient care. The genotype should be routinely determined in areas with a high prevalence of VRE of genotype vanC.

Journal Article.  3442 words.  Illustrated.

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

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