Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

Emergence of increasing linezolid-resistance in enterococci in a post-outbreak situation with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium

B. SCHULTEa1 c1, A. HEININGERa2, I. B. AUTENRIETHa1 and C. WOLZa1

a1 Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany

a2 Klinik für Anästhesiologie und Intensivmedizin, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany

Abstract

During 2004 and at the start of 2005 a university hospital in Southwest Germany was affected by an extensive outbreak of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE). Although the outbreak was contained, linezolid-resistant enterococci emerged during and after the outbreak as the usage of linezolid became more common. Linezolid resistance was no longer limited to VRE. Nosocomial spread of linezolid-resistant but vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium was detected and these strains also emerged in patients without prior drug exposure. Linezolid should therefore be used with caution and the susceptibility of isolates monitored over time. Isolation precautions and screening of contacts should be considered to avoid spread of resistant isolates.

(Accepted August 17 2007)

(Online publication September 25 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr B. Schulte, Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 6, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany. (Email: berit.schulte@med.uni-tuebingen.de)

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