Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are multi-resistant micro-organisms that have emerged as important nosocomial pathogens during the last decade. Emergence of this organism has been blamed mainly on the increased and inappropriate use of antibiotics, in particular, the cephalosporins and the glycopeptide, vancomycin. Burns patients are highly vulnerable to acquiring VRE infections, being both debilitated and immunocompromised, and often receiving antibiotics that further diminish their intrinsic microbial flora. We report on two patients with large burn injuries who acquired vancomycin-resistant enterococcal septicaemia during their in-patient stay. Both patients were successfully treated using the antibiotic, linezolid. Linezolid is the first in a new class of antibiotics known as the oxazolidinones whose mode of action inhibits early bacterial protein synthesis. Linezolid has a spectrum of activity against Gram-positive micro-organisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and VRE, and can provide a useful treatment alternative to the glycopeptides.
- Vancomycin-resistant enterococci
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine