Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium: should we screen on admission?

1 Citation (Scopus)


Denmark has experienced an increase in the proportion of invasive vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) since 2002 (e.g. <4% in 2015, 7.1% in 2017 and 12% in 2018). At Rigshospitalet, we employ active screening at departments with high prevalence or in case of outbreaks. This includes the collection of rectal swabs specifically for VRE screening. Our purpose was to describe the carrier prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci among acute patients admitted to the Neurointensive Care Unit, Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark (NICU). Between April 2018 and January 2019, we investigated 99 consecutive rectal swabs from patients admitted to NICU. The primary outcome was prevalence of VRE carriage. The median age was 64 years (range 23–87) and gender was equally distributed (Female = 47, Male = 46). 26 (28%) had previously been admitted within 179 days and 67 patients (72%) had no hospital admissions within 180 days prior to the admission to NICU. Of the 93 rectal swabs, 2 (2%, 95% CI 0.26–7.55%) were positive for vanA and none were positive for vanB. Routine screening of all patients at admission may be effective in hospital settings with high VRE prevalence, whereas the benefit of screening for VRE in hospitals with a low prevalence may be restricted to specific patient populations.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)657-660
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • active screening
  • bacteriology
  • clinical microbiology
  • multidrug resistance
  • VRE


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