Background: Enterococcal infections comprise a wide range of diseases with increasing
importance due to the growing frequency of health-care-associated infections and the increasing
incidence of antimicrobial resistance. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) is an emerging
drug-resistant organism responsible for increasing numbers of nosocomial infections in both
adults and children. Few data are available on the epidemiology and impact of VRE infections in
Iranians. In the present study, attempts were made to evaluate the prevalence and molecular characterization
of VRE isolates from patients referred to several hospitals in Iran.
Materials and Methods: Eight hundred and fourteen enterococcal clinical isolates from different
patients were selected for this cross-sectional study during June 2018 and February 2019. Antimicrobial
susceptibility testing was performed by standard methods according to the Clinical Laboratories
Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. The vanA and vanB genes in VRE isolates were
amplified by PCR.
Results: Our findings indicated that 20.7% of the isolates were collected from hospitalized patients
in the ICU. Among all the isolates, 254 (30%) were identified as VRE strains. All of the
VRE isolates were sensitive to linezolid. Moreover, only 39.9% of the VRE isolates harbored the
vanA gene, while none of them carried the vanB gene.
Conclusion: The present study reports the highest range of VRE infections in Iran. The constant
surveillance and monitoring of VRE strains are recommended to limit the occurrence and spread
of VRE clones within and among hospitals and community settings.