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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1996 Nov;40(11):2605-9.

Vancomycin-resistant enterococci from nosocomial, community, and animal sources in the United States.

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  • 1Center for the Study of Emerging and Reemerging Pathogens, University of Texas Medical School, Houston 77030, USA.


The presence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) was looked for in fecal samples from 104 healthy volunteers (3 with hospital exposure), 100 selected hospitalized patients, and various environmental sources (44 commercial chickens, 5 farm-raised chickens, 3 turkeys, and 2 chicken farm lagoon slurries). Five probiotic preparations were also studied. No VRE with vanA or vanB genes were isolated from the healthy volunteers without hospital exposure, environmental sources, or probiotic preparations. VRE with vanB were found in the stools of 16% of the high-risk hospitalized patients and in one volunteer with hospital contact. All VRE examined could be classified into one of two clones by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. VRE from 11 of the colonized patients were quantified and ranged from 10(3) to 10(6) CFU/g of stool. This study, in contrast to findings in Europe, failed to find evidence of VanA- or VanB-type VRE in the community or environmental sources in Houston, Texas, and suggests that these settings are not a likely source of VRE in hospitals in this geographic area.

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