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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2012 Feb;41(2):77-81.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci in Singaporean hospitals: 5-year results of a multi-centre surveillance programme.

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Department of Pharmacy, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.



Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have emerged as one of the major nosocomial antimicrobial-resistant pathogens globally. In this article, we describe the epidemiology of VRE in Singaporean public hospitals in the 5 years following the major local VRE outbreak in 2005.


A passive laboratory surveillance programme identified non-duplicate VRE isolates from 7 hospitals from 2006 to 2010. Descriptive statistics and time-series analysis was performed on all clinical VRE isolates for each individual hospital as well as for the combined dataset.


There were a total of 418 VRE isolates over 5 years, of which 102 isolates (24.4%) were from clinical cultures. Between 0.4% and 0.7% of all clinical enterococcal isolates were resistant to vancomycin. The overall incidence-density of VRE did not change over time in Singapore despite 2 separate outbreaks in tertiary hospitals in 2009 and 2010. Incidence-density of clinical VRE cases fell in 2 secondary hospitals, while another 2 hospitals experienced no significant VRE infections after 2008.


The prevalence of VRE clinical isolates remains low in Singaporean public sector hospitals. However, the presence of at least 2 outbreaks in separate hospitals over the past 5 years indicates the need for continued vigilance in order to prevent any further increase in VRE prevalence locally.

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