Background: Infections with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are a growing concern in hospitals. The impact of vancomycin resistance in enterococcal urinary tract infection is not well-defined. Aim: To describe the epidemiology of enterococcal bacteriuria in a hospital and compare the clinical picture and patient outcomes depending on vancomycin resistance. Methods: This was a 6-month prospective cohort study of hospital patients who were admitted with or who developed enterococcal bacteriuria in a 1250-bed tertiary care hospital. We examined clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, management, and outcomes. Findings: We included 254 patients with enterococcal bacteriuria; 160 (63%) were female and median age was 65 years (range: 17-96). A total of 116 (46%) bacteriurias were hospital-acquired and 145 (57%) catheter-associated. Most patients presented with asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) (119; 47%) or pyelonephritis (64; 25%); 51 (20%) had unclassifiable bacteriuria and 20 (8%) had cystitis. Secondary bloodstream infection was detected in 8 (3%) patients. Seventy of 119 (59%) with ASB received antibiotics (mostly vancomycin). There were 74 (29%) VRE bacteriurias. VRE and vancomycin-susceptible enterococci (VSE) produced similar rates of pyelonephritis [19 (25%) vs 45 (25%); P=0.2], cystitis, and ASB. Outcomes such as ICU transfer [10 (14%) VRE vs 17 (9%) VSE; P=0.3], hospital length of stay (6.8 vs 5.0 days; P=0.08), and mortality [10 (14%) vs 13 (7%); P=0.1] did not vary with vancomycin susceptibility. Conclusions: Vancomycin resistance did not affect the clinical presentation nor did it impact patient outcomes in this cohort of inpatients with enterococcal bacteriuria. Almost half of our cohort had enterococcal ASB; more than 50% of these asymptomatic patients received unnecessary antibiotics. Antimicrobial stewardship efforts should address overtreatment of enterococcal bacteriurias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Asymptomatic disease
  • Enterococcus
  • Outcomes research
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vancomycin


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