What is an MDRO?
Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) are bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics used to treat them. Antibiotics are important medicines that help fight infections caused by bacteria. When bacteria are resistant to an antibiotic, that antibiotic usually can no longer be used for treatment, making MDROs often difficult to treat. MDROs are often found in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health care facilities, but certain MDROs can also be found in the community. Some examples of MDROs include:
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)
What causes the development of MDROs?
MDROs can develop when antibiotics are not used appropriately. Factors that can contribute to the development of MDROs include taking antibiotics for the incorrect duration or using antibiotics when they are not needed (such as for viral infections).
What types of infections do MDROs cause?
MDROs can cause a variety of infections in the body, including but not limited to:
MDROs can be spread from person to person through direct contact. Sometimes they can also be spread by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors. In the hospital, MDROs can spread through equipment that is contaminated or improperly reused. The mechanism of spread can depend on the type of organism.
Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of MDROs. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds, rubbing all surfaces briskly. Avoiding sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, bars of soap, or razors can also help prevent the spread of MDROs.