top of page


Epidemiological trends and susceptibility patterns of bloodstream infections caused by Enterococcus spp. in six German university hospitals: a prospectively evaluated multicentre cohort study from 2016 to 2020 of the R-Net study group

Hornuss D, Göpel S, Walker SV, Tobys D, Häcker G, Seifert H, Higgins PG, Xanthopoulou K, Gladstone BP, Cattaneo C, Mischnik A, Rohde AM, Imirzalioglu C, Trauth J, Fritzenwanker M, Falgenhauer J, Gastmeier P, Behnke M, Kramme E, Käding N, Rupp J, Peter S, Schmauder K, Eisenbeis S, Kern WV, Tacconelli E, Rieg S; DZIF R.-N. E. T. Study Group


To analyse recent epidemiological trends of bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by Enterococcus spp. In adult patients admitted to tertiary care centres in Germany.


Epidemiological data from the multicentre R-NET study was analysed. Patients presenting with E. faecium or E. faecalis in blood cultures in six German tertiary care university hospitals between October 2016 and June 2020 were prospectively evaluated. In vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), the presence of vanA/vanB was confirmed via molecular methods.


In the 4-year study period, 3001 patients with BSI due to Enterococcus spp. were identified. E. faecium was detected in 1830 patients (61%) and E. faecalis in 1229 patients (41%). Most BSI occurred in (sub-) specialties of internal medicine. The pooled incidence density of enterococcal BSI increased significantly (4.0–4.5 cases per 10,000 patient days), which was primarily driven by VRE BSI (0.5 to 1.0 cases per 10,000 patient days). In 2020, the proportion of VRE BSI was > 12% in all study sites (range, 12.8–32.2%). Molecular detection of resistance in 363 VRE isolates showed a predominance of the vanB gene (77.1%).


This large multicentre study highlights an increase of BSI due to E. faecium, which was primarily driven by VRE. The high rates of hospital- and ICU-acquired VRE BSI point towards an important role of prior antibiotic exposure and invasive procedures as risk factors. Due to limited treatment options and high mortality rates of VRE BSI, the increasing incidence of VRE BSI is of major concern.

bottom of page