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Microb Drug Resist. 2003 Fall;9(3):307-12.

Recurrent episodes of shock-like syndrome caused by the same strain of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in a pediatric patient.

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Department of Pediatrics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


We present the case of a hospitalized pediatric patient with short bowel syndrome who was dependent upon total parenteral nutrition for 17 months. Shortly after admission she became colonized with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and developed 12 distinct episodes of serious infection associated with it. The course of VRE colonization and infections in this patient was studied through analysis of 40 representative isolates obtained from different sites during distinct episodes of infection. Standard microbiological techniques, automated ribosomal DNA typing, polymerase chain reaction, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used. All isolates except for the one associated with the initial episode of bacteremia were VRE, and were multidrug resistant. The last four episodes of infection were caused by isolates resistant to all tested antibiotics except for intermediate susceptibility to chloramphenicol. The vanA genotype was a source of vancomycin resistance in all VRE isolates. Both ribotyping and PFGE showed two distinct clones of VRE in clinical and stool surveillance isolates: one was associated with clinical illness and the other was not associated with infection. Recurrent VRE infections occur as a consequence of prolonged gastrointestinal colonization. Morbidity is associated with host factors, the presence of co-pathogens, and possibly intrinsically more virulent VRE strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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