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Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Jul;13(7):1024-30. doi: 10.3201/eid1307.070019.

Response to emerging infection leading to outbreak of linezolid-resistant enterococci.

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Tennessee Department of Health, Communicable and Environmental Disease Services, Nashville, Tennessee 37243, USA.


Linezolid was approved in 2000 for treatment of gram-positive coccal infections. We performed a case-control study during a hospital outbreak of linezolid-resistant enterococci (LRE) infections, comparing cases of LRE infection (cases) with linezolid-sensitive enterococci infections (controls). Nasal and perirectal swab samples were obtained from all patients in a 1-day point-prevalence survey. We examined antimicrobial drug use and calculated the defined daily dose of linezolid per 1,000 patient-days. Fifteen LRE cases were identified (13 Enterococcus faecalis and 2 E. faecium); 7 were vancomycin-resistant. Compared with controls, case-patients had increased in-hospital mortality rates and lengths of stay. Multivariate analysis identified independent predictors of LRE infection: prior cultures positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 27), hospitalization duration before index culture (AOR 1.1 per day), and duration of preceding linezolid therapy (AOR 1.1 per day). Linezolid exposure and patient-to-patient transmission appear to be responsible for LRE infections, an important emeraina hospital problem.

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