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Rate of nosocomial transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci from isolated patients

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To evaluate an isolation policy for patients colonised with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), we instituted active surveillance for transmission to uncolonised patients. Surveillance rectal swabs were taken and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed on positive isolates. VRE transmission with an identical genotype occurred in 5 patients, giving a transmission rate of 3.7 per 1000 patient days, or 1 patient per ward each week. The present study provides a baseline for ­assessment of VRE transmission and will be useful in evalu­ation of the effectiveness of infection control interventions. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 510−512)

Keywords: Enterococcus; cross infection; disease transmission; infection control; ­vancomycin resistance

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University and 2: Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Unit and

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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