By Chelsie Campbell

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Enterococcus AKA Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Enterococci are bacteria, which are normally found in a person’s gastrointestinal tract (gut or bowel) and the female genitourinary tract without causing a problem or infection. The bacteria may cause an infection if it gets into particularly, blood, wounds or urine. The bacteria do not normally cause infections in health y people, but may in those whose immune system may be severely weakened
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How its transmitted

Enterococci can be found on surfaces (such as: telephones, doorknobs,ect), which have been touched by unwashed hands particularly following bathroom use. In hospitals it can be picked up from surfaces or objects contaminated with enterococci when these surfaces are touched. It may also be spread directly from person to person particularly from health care workers hands if they are not cleansed between contact with patients. Other possible ways enterococci may spread is by sharing other patient’s toiletry items for example: towels, soaps or washcloths


there is a high frequency of obtaining enterococcus especially if you work in a hospital.
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Disease cource

Enterococci bacteria live in our intestines and on our skin, usually without causing problems. But if they become resistant to antibiotics, they can cause serious infections, especially in people who are ill or weak. These infections can occur anywhere in the body. Some common sites include the intestines, the urinary tract, and wounds.

Possible Complications

Enterococcus can have complications because it can be very difficult to treat due to the limited antibiotics that can treat it, sometimes the enterococci can become immune the the antibiotics complicating it more.

People Targeted

People who are have been previously treated with the antibiotic vancomyicin are at highest risk of developing enterococcus. This may occur if the enterococci, which are part of the persons ‘normal flora’ develops its own resistance mechanism to the antibiotic vancomycin


Enterococcus can be treated with ampicillin, penicillin and vancomycin. Urinary tract infections can be treated specifically with nitrofurantoin, even in cases of vancomycin resistance.