Utility of a focused vancomycin-resistant enterococci screening protocol to identify colonization in hospitalized children

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Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.12.005


Screening for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) is controversial, and disagreement exists on policy implementation. This study investigated the likelihood of a positive test using 1, 2, or 3 rectal screenings for VRE colonization. In this descriptive study of positive VRE screening cultures, a total of 1211 VRE screens identified 41 positive results. The mean age of these positive patients was 5.7 years. Thirty-nine of the 41 had a chronic illness, and only 2 were healthy. Diagnoses included pulmonary disease in 11 patients and chronic gastrointestinal abnormality in 7. Six patients had been born preterm, and 12 had been treated in a neonatal intensive care unit within the previous 6 months. Thirty-six of the 41 positive results were identified on the first screen. The likelihood of subsequently having a positive screen after a negative screen was 0.43% (95% confidence interval, 0.15%-1.02%). The cost of cultures plus isolation was $50,000 for the study period. Our data show that the likelihood of detecting a positive VRE culture after an initial negative was low, particularly in otherwise healthy children. Copyright © 2012 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Journal Title

American Journal of Infection Control





First Page


Last Page



Pediatric, Surveillance, VRE

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