This essay will look at Vancomycin-resistant enterococci and what it is. Why has Vancomycin become resistant? Vancomycin use of for medical treatment, transmission of and risks to acquiring VRE infections in the Australian health-care sector. Recommended precautionary measures used to prevent the spread of VRE amongst patients and health-care workers in the workplace. Why is it becoming more prevalent in Australian health-care sectors.
What is Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)? Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are enterococcus strains, such as Staphylococcus faecalis, now called Enterococcus faecalis that are resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. Enterococci infections are the most common type acquired by hospitalised patients. Vancomycin was the last-line antibiotic for hospital treatment of serious methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections according to Collignon (2002, p. 327). These enterococci have become resistant because of the overuse of the antibiotics that control these infections. Cross-resistance between classes and exposure to one antibiotic may promote resistance to others. Changes to the bacterial receptors for these antibiotics in MRSA strains make them become resistant to methicillin and it derivatives. These changed receptors have limited activity to result in bacterial death when exposed to the antibiotics (Collignon, 2002).
The most frequent form of enterococci bacteria found in hospitals is E. faecium and E. faecalis, which are the two primary concerns of acquired resistance. According to Cetinkaya, Y, Falk, P & Mayhall, C, (pp. 687-688, 2002), there are five types of recognised phenotypes of vancomycin-resistance, Van A – E. faecium and E. faecalis, Van B- E. faecium, E. faecalis, Van C - E. gallinarum, E. casseliflavus and E. flavescens, Van D - E. faecium and Van E - E. Faecalis.
Antibiotics need to be used carefully...