The toilet as a transmission vector of vancomycin-resistant enterococci

J Hosp Infect. 1998 Nov;40(3):237-41. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6701(98)90141-4.


An elderly woman, admitted to the intensive care unit of a large university teaching hospital, was found to be colonized with vancomycin-resistant enterococci leading to the temporary closure of the unit. She had acquired the organism nosocomially, most likely from an environmental source, which had been contaminated when the toilet of a former patient, also colonized with vancomycin-resistant enterococci, had become blocked and overflowed throughout his and the adjoining room. This is the first report of a hospital toilet as the transmission vector for vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents*
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • British Columbia
  • Cross Infection / transmission*
  • DNA Primers
  • Disease Reservoirs*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Infection Control*
  • Male
  • Toilet Facilities*
  • Vancomycin*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Primers
  • Vancomycin