Changes in the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in response to antimicrobial formulary interventions: impact of progressive restrictions on use of vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins

Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Feb 15;36(4):440-6. doi: 10.1086/346153. Epub 2003 Jan 24.


This study sought to assess the impact of restricting use of vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) prevalence. All clinical enterococcal isolates identified at a large academic medical center during a 10-year period were analyzed. Changes in VRE prevalence after sequential restrictions on use of vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins were evaluated. The correlation between antibiotic use and VRE prevalence was also investigated. Vancomycin use initially decreased by 23.9% but returned to preintervention levels by the end of the study. Third-generation cephalosporin use decreased by 85.8%. However, VRE prevalence increased steadily from 17.4% to 29.6% during the 10-year period (P<.001). Clindamycin use was significantly correlated with VRE prevalence. Restricting the use of vancomycin and third-generations cephalosporins had little impact on VRE prevalence. The association between clindamycin use and the prevalence of VRE suggests that restriction of this and perhaps other antianaerobic agents might be an important component of future antimicrobial interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology*
  • Clindamycin / pharmacology
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Enterococcus / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology*
  • Vancomycin Resistance / physiology*


  • Cephalosporins
  • Clindamycin
  • Vancomycin