Patients with moderate to severe Cdiff are commonly treated with oral vancomycin, but there has been a theoretical concern of rectal VRE transmission from these patients. In this prospective observational study of patients with Cdiff and concurrent VRE colonization, researchers cultured skin and environmental samples from patients before, during, and after treatment with vancomycin or metronidazole. They found no difference in VRE-positive skin or environmental cultures between the 2 treatment groups, indicating VRE contamination from oral-vancomycin-treated patients should not be a substantial concern (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.