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Rinsho Byori. 1998 Jul;46(7):629-36.

[Vancomycin resistant enterococci].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine.


Enterococci are normal intestinal flora in humans. Among enterococci, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are frequently isolated and can become nosocomial pathogens in hospitals, especially in intensive care units and oncology wards. Recently, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) such as E. faecalis and E. faecium have caused a serious problem of hospital-acquired infections in Europe and the USA. VRE also has another aspect as a cause of community-acquired infections. Especially, avoparcin which had been used to enhance growth of food animals is documented as associated with the spread of VRE in European countries. In Japan, there have only been a few of reports about VRE so far. However, there evidence that VRE might become prevalent in many hospitals in Japan. In fact, we have already isolated another highly vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VCM:MIC > 128 micrograms/ml) from a hospitalized diabetic patient. We should pay a careful attention to VRE and perform the following control measures: 1)re-education and re-training about hospital infection control procedures, 2) prudent use of vancomycin in clinical settings, 3)accurate report of VRE in clinical laboratories, and 4) good communications and collaborations among physicians, nurses and other health care personnel and laboratory technicians. We should learn more from countries in which VRE are already prevalent, and pursue further investigations, to prevent the spread of VRE in Japan.

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