Enterococcus faecium: from microbiological insights to practical recommendations for infection control and diagnostics

Xuewei Zhou*, Rob J L Willems, Alexander W Friedrich, John W A Rossen, Erik Bathoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Early in its evolution, Enterococcus faecium acquired traits that allowed it to become a successful nosocomial pathogen. E. faecium inherent tenacity to build resistance to antibiotics and environmental stressors that allows the species to thrive in hospital environments. The continual wide use of antibiotics in medicine has been an important driver in the evolution of E. faecium becoming a highly proficient hospital pathogen.For successful prevention and reduction of nosocomial infections with vancomycin resistant E. faecium (VREfm), it is essential to focus on reducing VREfm carriage and spread. The aim of this review is to incorporate microbiological insights of E. faecium into practical infection control recommendations, to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired VREfm (carriage and infections). The spread of VREfm can be controlled by intensified cleaning procedures, antibiotic stewardship, rapid screening of VREfm carriage focused on high-risk populations, and identification of transmission routes through accurate detection and typing methods in outbreak situations. Further, for successful management of E. faecium, continual innovation in the fields of diagnostics, treatment, and eradication is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
Number of pages13
JournalAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10-Aug-2020

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