Objective: To evaluate the epidemiology of, and control measures for, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in a renal unit.
Design: A 3-month, prospective, prevalence culture survey of patients on a 24-bed renal unit.
Setting: A 975-bed community teaching hospital.
Patients: Patients admitted to the renal unit over a 3-month period. Patients identified with VRE were each matched with four patients without VRE isolated over the study period.
Interventions/Control Measures: Resistant-organism barrier precautions. To eradicate carriage of VRE, two patients with VRE stool colonization were treated with 5 days of oral doxycycline (100 mg twice per day) and rifampin (300 mg/day).
Results: Seven patients with VRE (8 isolates) were identified. Five isolates were Enterococcus faecium (vancomycin MIC=16 to 256 μg/mL), two were Enterococcus faecalis (MICs=16 and 124 μg/mL), and one was Enterococcus gallinarum (MIC=8.0 μg/mL). Eradication of carriage with VRE was accomplished in two patients treated with doxycycline and rifampin. In the final 30 days of the culture survey and at 9 months, there were no further patients with VRE identified.
Conclusions: Resistant-organism precautions and elimination of patient carriage may be useful measures for controlling the spread of low-prevalence endemic vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.