Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are enterococci bacteria that are resistant to vancomycin antibiotic, reports MedicineNet. Enterococci bacteria live on the skin and in the intestines and are usually harmless; however, they may grow resistance to antibiotics causing severe infections in the intestines, the urinary tract and on the skin, according to WebMD.
VRE infections occur in people with a weakened immune system. Transmission of the bacteria is mainly through casual contact and sharing contaminated objects. Most transmissions occur in health facilities through contact between health care workers' contaminated hands and patients, notes WebMD.
Antibiotics other than vancomycin are the main treatments for VRE infections. For patients who contract an infection and have a urinary catheter, removing the catheter may clear the infection, advises National Institute of Health.