Medical Definition of vancomycin–resistant enterococcus
: any of several bacteria of the genus Enterococcus (as E. faecalis and E. faecium) that are resistant to vancomycin and other commonly used antibiotics (as cephalosporin, trimethoprim, and tetracycline) and that are typically benign colonizers of the gastrointestinal tract and female genital tract but may cause severe infections (as of the urinary tract, bloodstream, or surgical wounds) especially in hospitalized patients with weakened immune systems and in individuals who are on long-term regimens of antibiotics ◆Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are usually spread by direct contact with contaminated hands (as of a caregiver or heath-care worker), or contaminated surfaces or medical equipment. —abbreviation VRE
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