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J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar 15;185(6):766-73. Epub 2002 Feb 28.

The impact of persistent gastrointestinal colonization on the transmission dynamics of vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


The transmission dynamics of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and factors contributing to their dissemination are complex. Mathematical modeling was used to simulate patterns of dissemination among patients and health care workers (HCWs) and to quantify the contribution of specific factors and infection control interventions on the endemic prevalence (EP) of VRE in a long-term hemodialysis unit. The model predicted that (1) an EP of 12% would be reached over time, regardless of the number of patients initially colonized, (2) endemicity would be sustained by the constant influx of newly colonized patients discharged from the hospital, (3) duration of VRE gastrointestinal colonization would have the most impact on the number of secondary cases, increasing the EP to a maximum of 70%, and (4) decreasing the patient:HCW ratio or improving hand hygiene would decrease the EP to 3%. Decreasing the duration of colonization, limiting hospital acquisition of VRE, and improving compliance with hand hygiene in the hemodialysis unit may decrease the rapidly rising rates of VRE in the patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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