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Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is a vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE)?

VRE is a strain of bacteria that can cause infection. Usually the antibiotic vancomycin is used to kill the bacteria. However, VRE is resistant to vancomycin and makes it difficult to treat. VRE most commonly causes an infection in the urinary tract, blood, or a wound. VRE infection can easily be spread from person to person. It most often occurs in hospitals.

What increases my risk for a VRE infection?

What else do I need to know about VRE?

You can have an active VRE infection or you can be a carrier of VRE bacteria and not have symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of a VRE infection?

Symptoms may depend on where the infection is. You may have any of the following:

How is a VRE infection diagnosed?

How is a VRE infection treated?

You will not need treatment if you carry the bacteria but do not have an active infection. Antibiotics will be given to treat an active infection. If a medical device has caused your infection, it may be removed or changed.

How do I prevent the spread of VRE?

Do the following if you or someone you care for has an active VRE infection:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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