Rectal swab: VRE screening – VRE (Enterococcus faecalis)  – Shipped May 2014


A simulated rectal swab from a 30 female renal unit patient from the US to be admitted to the ICU was sent to category A and B laboratories with request to screen for vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) as per their laboratory protocol.

It was anticipated that laboratories would report Enterococcus faecalis, VRE, and would notify Infection Control and/or Public Health (IC/PH).


  1. It is important to further investigate elevated vancomycin MICs that appear to be in the intermediate range – to rule out Enterococcus gallinarum and Enterococcus casseliflavus, and to test for vanA and vanB genes should the organism be identified as an Enterococcus faecium or Enterococcus faecalis.
  2. Enterococcus faecalis that are vancomycin intermediate should still be notified to Infection Prevention & Control while awaiting for vanA & vanB results so that, where required, appropriate precautions can be taken until final results are available.

Full critique (PDF)

Posted in Clinical Bacteriology Results, critiques