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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008 May;29(5):404-9. doi: 10.1086/587647.

Risk of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) bloodstream infection among patients colonized with VRE.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



Colonization with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) is a risk factor for subsequent VRE bloodstream infection (BSI); however, risk factors for BSI among colonized patients have not been adequately described. We sought to determine the proportion of VRE-colonized patients who subsequently develop VRE BSI and to identify risk factors for VRE BSI among these patients.


Records of 768 patients colonized with VRE from January 2002 through June 2005 were reviewed. The proportion of patients who developed VRE BSI was calculated, and the characteristics of these patients were compared, in a 2:1 ratio, with those of patients who did not develop VRE BSI. To identify risk factors for VRE BSI and for death, we used univariate logistic regression analysis and then multivariate logistic regression analysis. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), we compared the isolate recovered when the patient was colonized and the isolate recovered when the patient developed VRE BSI.


Of the 768 patients colonized with VRE, 31 (4.0%) developed VRE BSI. Multivariate analysis identified the following independent risk factors for developing VRE BSI: infection of an additional body site other than blood (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.9; P = .04), admission to the hospital from a long-term care facility (aOR, 12.6; P = .04), and receipt of vancomycin (aOR, 10.6; P = .001). The independent risk factors for death among patients colonized with VRE were immunosuppression (aOR, 12.9; P = .001) and VRE BSI (aOR, 9.1; P = .002). Of the 31 patients who developed VRE BSI, 23 (74%) had a pair of isolates representing VRE colonization and VRE BSI. For 19 (83%) of these 23 patients, the isolate representing BSI was genetically related to the isolate representing VRE colonization: 12 pairs of isolates (52%) had identical banding patterns, 5 had closely related patterns, and 2 had possibly related patterns.


Of the 768 patients colonized with VRE, 31 (4.0%) usually developed VRE BSI due to a related strain. Independent risk factors for BSI among colonized patients were admission from a long-term care facility, infection of an additional body site, and exposure to vancomycin. Independent risk factors for death were immunosuppression and VRE BSI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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