Infections acquired from an external source are referred to as exogenous infections. These infections may occur as a result of human-to-human transmission, contact with exogenous bacterial populations in the environment, and animal contact. Resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE) may colonize hospitalized patients or patients who access the health care system frequently. It is key to know which patients have acquired these organisms because patients generally become colonized prior to developing infection, and colonized patients should be placed in isolation (per infection-control policies) to minimize transmission to other patients.
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