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Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Dec;29(6):1566-8.

Seeking vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus among patients with vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

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  • 1Division of Quality Health Care, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.


Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus displaying intermediate resistance to vancomycin (VISA) have been identified. The objective of our study was to identify VISA colonization among patients known to be colonized or infected with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Eight weekly point prevalence screening surveys for VRE and S. aureus were conducted on 5 hospital units. Of the 243 patients screened, 31 (12.8%) were colonized with VRE. In addition, 18 inpatients were already known to be VRE-positive. Fourteen (28.6%) of the 49 VRE-positive patients were co-colonized with S. aureus. All 30 S. aureus isolates from these 14 patients were methicillin-resistant (MRSA) but remained vancomycin-susceptible (minimal inhibitory concentration [MIC] range, 0.75-2 microg/mL). Population analysis profiling demonstrated no evidence of heteroresistant subpopulations that could grow on agar containing 3 microg/mL vancomycin for any of the MRSA isolates. Although 23 (77%) of 30 staphylococcal isolates had vancomycin MICs of 1.5 or 2 microg/mL, no VISA strains (MICs, 8-16 microg/mL) were recovered.

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