Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE ) is a strain of enterococcus that has become resistant to the antibiotic Vancomycin. Vancomycin is normally used to treat enterococcal infections. Enterococcus is a bacteria that normally lives in the human bowel. Individuals who are hospitalized, in healthcare facilities, suffering from chronic underlying illness, or those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to infection by VRE. VRE can be contracted and transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces such as toilets, grip bars, flushing handles, doorknobs, light switches, bedside tables and telephones.
Objects touched by carriers, caregivers, and visitors within a hospital or the home setting or a VRE carrier may become contaminated. Transmission prevention measures include cleaning surfaces with disinfectants such as bleach. However, regular handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of Vancomycin resistant enterococcus from person to person and a person and their environment.
Sante et Service Sociaux Quebec. 2009. Infections Nosocomiales: Entérocoques Résistants à la Vancomycine. Retrived March 26, 2009 from http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca