An individual contracts vancomycin-resistant enterococci by coming into direct physical contact with an infected person or with a contaminated surface, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are two types of vancomycin-resistant enterococci: Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis, according to the Phage Therapy Center.
Healthy individuals generally do not contract the disease after coming into direct contact with a person or surface contaminated with the feces of an infected individual, informs the New York State Department of Health. Patients hospitalized with cancer, blood disorders, immune deficiencies and other serious illnesses are typically at risk of contracting the infection.
Enterococcus faecalis presents as bladder, prostate, epididymal or nervous system infections, while Enterococcus faecium is typically the cause of outbreaks in hospitals, states the Phage Therapy Center.