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More than 1,500 perirectal swab cultures and 552 environmental and equipment cultures were collected during the study period. Enterococcus faecium was the most frequent species isolated, being responsible for 71% of the positive cultures. Fifty infections were documented, with bloodstream infections (18, 36%) being the most frequent, followed by urinary tract infection (15, 30%). An educational intervention was given to 136 healthcare workers (HCWs), and a questionnaire regarding vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) transmission was also performed pre- and post-intervention. Overall, 858 opportunities of patient care were evaluated. The compliance with contact precautions did not improve; however, in general, the proportion of correct answers regarding VRE increased significantly when comparing pre- and post-intervention periods (p < 0.05). On the other hand, the proportion of environmental and equipment contaminated by VRE decreased significantly from pre- (23.2%) to post-intervention (8.2%) (p < 0.001) and was associated with a significant decrease in VRE infection from 7.7 to 1.9 when comparing the pre- and post-intervention periods. The use of vancomycin (defined daily dose [DDD]) did not change significantly over the study period (p = 0.970), and the use of teicoplanin increased (p < 0.001). Seventy-six percent of E. faecium belong to type and subtype A by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). This predominant type was found in the environment and caused colonization and infection. In conclusion, the present study showed that reduction of the proportion of environmental and equipment contamination was associated with a decrease of colonization and infection due to VRE, and that the strategy to control VRE dissemination should be based on local problems.


M R E Perugini, S M Nomi, G K Lopes, R A Belei, I M van der Heijden, A K Q Mostachio, C Grion, E B Couto, S F Costa. Impact of the reduction of environmental and equipment contamination on vancomycin-resistant enterococcus rates. Infection. 2011 Dec;39(6):587-93

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PMID: 21847554

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