Vancomycin resistant enterococcus screen (VRE)

A screening test which looks specifically for the presence of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), screens are not sent routinely but may be requested by Microbiology clinical staff or Control of Infection Team. The emergence of high-level aminoglycoside resistance seriously limits treatment options. Aminoglycoside resistance enterococci carry genes which confer high level resistance to glycopeptides such as vancomycin. Organisms isolated that are resistant to vancomycin are fully identified and reported against a range of antibiotics. Turn around time 2-3 days.
Clinical details: 
In order to control or monitor an outbreak, patients are screened for the presence of organisms exhibiting a particular resistance pattern as directed by the Microbiology Clinical staff or Control of Infection team.
Synonyms or keywords: 
Sample type and Volume required: 
Screen – 1x throat and 1 x rectal swab in Amies (blue or black top) transport medium.
Swabs received in the department by 18.00hrs will be processed the same day.
Turnaround time: 
2-3 days. Positive results are telephoned to the ward or clinical team by Infection Control Team or Microbiology clinical staff.
Storage and transport: 
Please place screen swabs (both) in the same sealed transport bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Samples should be refrigerated if transport to the laboratory is delayed.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 27/11/2017