Print E-mail
Volume 34, Number 4, December 2001

Invasive infections due to vancomycin-resistant enterococci in adult patients

Shio-Shin Jean, Chi-Tai Fang, Hua-Kung Wang, Po-Ren Hsueh, Shan-Chwen Chang, Kwen-Tay Luh
Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, ROC



Since 1990, vancomycin-resistant enterococci have emerged as important nosocomial pathogens. Invasive infections caused by these organisms have challenged most physicians because they are resistant to multiple antibiotics. We analyzed the clinical characteristics of adult patients with invasive vancomycin-resistant enterococci infections in the National Taiwan University Hospital from January 1993 through December 2000. A total of 11 adult patients were identified, 9 of whom had bacteremia (7 caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis and 2 by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium) and one each had thoracic empyema (vancomycin-resistant E. faecium) and peritonitis (vancomycin-resistant E. faecium). Five patients had rectal swab cultures positive for vancomycin-resistant enterococci; 4 of them had underlying malignancies. The majority (91%) of these patients had prolonged hospitalization and prior long-term use of broad-spectrum cephalosporins (ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, or cefepime) or anti-anaerobic agents (clindamycin or metronidazole). The crude mortality rate was 64%. In conclusion, invasive infection caused by vancomycin-resistant enterococci is an emerging problem among hospitalized patients in Taiwan, particularly those with severe underlying diseases and exposure to multiple antibiotics.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2001;34:281-286.