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Strains of Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides have been reported from Japan, the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Although isolates with homogeneous resistance to vancomycin (MICs = 8 microg/mL) continue to be rare, there are increasing reports of strains showing heteroresistance, often with vancomycin MICs in the 1-4 microg/mL range. Most isolates with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin appear to have developed from preexisting methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections. Many of the isolates with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides have been associated with therapeutic failures with vancomycin. Although nosocomial spread of the vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) strains has not been observed in U.S. hospitals, spread of VISA strains has apparently occurred in Japan. Broth microdilution tests held a full 24 hours are optimal for detecting resistance in the laboratory; however, methods for detecting heteroresistant strains are still in flux. Disk-diffusion tests, including the Stokes method, do not detect VISA strains. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other groups have issued recommendations regarding appropriate infection control procedures for patients infected with these strains.