Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Transmission

VRE is transmitted from person to person most commonly by healthcare workers whose hands have inadvertently become contaminated, either from feces, urine, or blood of a person carrying the organism. It can also be spread indirectly via hand contact with open wounds or by touching contaminated environmental surfaces, where the bacterium can survive for weeks. VRE is not transmitted through the air.

Of more than a dozen forms of enterococci bacteria, two are the primary concern for human disease: E. faecium and E. faecalis. E. faecium is the most frequent species of VRE found in hospitals.

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