Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) – Confirmation

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) – Confirmation

Pure viable subculture of the organism on appropriate media  (eg Blood Agar) or a swab of a pure subculture in Amies transport medium.

Submission and Collection Notes


If a swab or broth is received the turnaround time will be delayed by at least 24 hours.


Submit subculture of an organism on an appropriate medium that supports the growth (e.g. Blood Agar). Swab of pure culture in bacterial transport medium is an acceptable alternative.


Primary cultures are not acceptable; and must be processed by the originating lab. The submitter will be contacted by telephone prior to rejection of the primary sample followed by a written report to indicate that the test has been rejected.


Complete all fields of the Reference Bacteriology Requisition, including:

  • test(s) requested
  • culture information
  • clinical/epidemiology
  • contact information


  • Mixed or non-viable cultures will not be tested. The submitter will be contacted by telephone. A written report will be issued to indicate that the test has been rejected.

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Submit a fresh subculture to ensure viability on receipt.

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimen should be transferred to the laboratory within 48 hours of collection.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus cultures are tested daily, Monday to Friday. 

Turnaround time for test results is up to 8 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus isolates are identified/confirmed by the following methods:

  • gram stain
  • catalase
  • phenotypic and/or molecular methods


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Data and Analysis

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Updated 25 Sep 2019