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Enterococci are bacteria found in the stomach and bowels of about 19 out of every 20 healthy people. Generally, these bacteria do not cause illness; however, it can usually be treated with antibiotics when illness does occur. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) are strains of enterococci bacteria resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin.

Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat serious infections caused by organisms that are resistant to other antibiotics such as penicillins. VRE are Enterococci that are resistant to vancomycin.

You can have VRE present in your body without being sick. A person with VRE who does NOT have symptoms is colonized with VRE. A person is considered to be infected with VRE when symptoms ARE present (e.g. an infection of the urinary tract or bloodstream).

Learn more about Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)