Vancomycin resistant enterococci are increasingly being isolated from inpatients. This report describes the colonial variation present in most isolates of vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium obtained at this hospital. Colonial variants within the same culture were indistinguishable by antimicrobial susceptibility, biochemical reactions, and ribotyping. Failure to appreciate this colonial variation will lead to pure cultures being regarded as contaminated or mixed.
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