Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infection

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium Infection

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) is an infection that has become increasingly common in healthcare facilities worldwide. This type of infection is caused by a strain of bacteria that is resistant to the commonly used antibiotic vancomycin. VREF is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections, which are also called HAIs or hospital-acquired infections. It is estimated that VREF accounts for up to 20% of all HAIs.

VREF infections usually affect the urinary tract, skin, soft tissue, and bloodstream. They can also be spread through contaminated medical devices or through contact with infected individuals. Symptoms of a VREF infection can vary from person to person, but can include fever, chills, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Diagnosis is usually made through laboratory testing.

Treatment of VREF infections typically includes combination antibiotic therapies. In most cases, doctors will prescribe vancomycin in combination with other antibiotics to get the best response. Other treatments may include drainage or removal of infected tissue, control of any underlying medical condition, and supportive care.

Preventing the spread of VREF infections is essential for both patient care and maintaining the safety of healthcare settings. Healthcare personnel should use good hand hygiene, proper handling and disposal of medical waste, and proper cleaning and disinfection of equipment.

Risk Factors of VREF Infections

  • Long-term hospital stays or frequent antibiotic use
  • Prolonged use of medical equipment, such as urinary catheters or breathing machines
  • Weakened immune system due to illness, such as cancer or HIV
  • Exposure to an infected individual in the healthcare setting