What are Vancomycin-resistant enterococci?
Enterococci are bacteria that are normally present in the intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is sometimes used to treat infections caused by enterococci. In some instances, enterococci have become resistant to this drug and are called vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Most VRE infections occur in hospital settings. VRE can live in the intestines and female genital tract without causing disease. However, sometimes they cause urinary tract infections, blood stream infections and wound infections.