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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Is there any way to get rid of VRE?

 ben7fan - Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:08 am

I have a kidney transplant and I was recently hospitalized with a UTI and the nurses told me that I was a carrier of VRE and was led to believe it wasnt anything to worry about. Later I read it was infectious and harmful to pregnant women and newborn babies and I work with a pregnant girl in the food service industry and also was planning on having children of my own some day soon, before all this happened. I'm going to suggest to my boss that I shouldn't be scheduled with this girl anymore because of the effect it might have on her baby if I would happen to spread the VRE.I'm not sure if I should be dealing with food either. Am I able to get rid of this VRE or is it something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life? Should I still work with food? Would ever be able to get pregnant myself and have a healthy baby of my own? Should I be worried about spreading this to anyone else I work with or is it not such a big deal like the nurses lead me to believe?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:31 am

User avatar Hi,
The enterococci are bacteria that live normally in the intestinal tract and in the female genital tract. Most of the time,they cause no problem.

One must be aware that there are several different Enterococcus species.

In a nosocomial setting, and when there are risk factors such as advancing age, immunocompromised states, critical illness,antibiotic therapy etc,they become pathogenic

E. faecium and E. faecalis are most often associated with disease and nosocomial transmission. There are other enterococci which are not pathogenic(and vancomycin resistent).

The 'other' species of Enterococci (e.g., gallinarum,casseliflavus ) are intrinsically resistant to low levels of vancomycin. These are less likely to be pathogens, their resistance has never been observed to transfer to other bacteria, and they do not require isolation, as do other VRE.

Thus, from your description..."the nurses told me that I was a carrier of VRE and was led to believe it wasnt anything to worry about", it is likely that the enterococcus that was isolated in your case was perhaps one of the vancomycin resistent but, 'non-pathogenic' species.

I really appreciate your concerns about the pregnant lady who you are working with.

It may be better to first find out from your hospital exactly which species of enterococcus was grown in your case so that you may formulate a plan of action (in consultation with them) to limit spread to others (if necessary).
Best wishes!

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