Distributed via Health Alert NetworkFebruary 14, 2013 12:30:00 ETCDCHAN-00341-02-14-2013
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are untreatable or difficult-to-treat multidrug-resistant organisms that are emerging in the United States. Because of increased reports of these multidrug-resistant organisms, CDC is alerting clinicians about the need for additional prevention steps regarding CRE. Key points include:
Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli are examples of Enterobacteriaceae, a family of bacteria that normally live in water, soil, and the human gut. CRE are Enterobacteriaceae that have developed high levels of resistance to antibiotics, including last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems. CRE infections most commonly occur among patients who are receiving antibiotics and significant medical treatment for other conditions.
Although there are a large number of mechanisms that can lead to carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae, the production of an enzyme that breaks down broad-spectrum carbapenem antibiotics (carbapenemases) has emerged as an important mechanism in the United States over the last decade. Most carbapenemase-producing CRE in the United States produce a carbapenemase called Klebisella pneumoniae carbapenemase, or KPC, which was first reported in 2001 and has been found in many different types of Gram-negative bacteria.
KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae appear to have spread throughout the United States since 2001 but still remain relatively uncommon in most hospitals. Enterobacteriaceae producing other carbapenemases, such as New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) and the Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM), have been very uncommon in the United States but are more common in other parts of the world. Many countries may not be actively looking for CRE; therefore, it is unclear which countries have experienced unusual carbapenemases (e.g., NDM, VIM) and it is difficult to know their overall incidence at any given time. The vast majority of CRE producing non-KPC carbapenemases reported to CDC were isolated from patients with a history of an overnight stay in a healthcare facility outside the United States.
CDC continues to recommend that facilities follow the CDC guidance for preventing the spread of CRE in healthcare settings. Facilities should:
In addition to that guidance, CDC now also recommends the following:
Further information about the prevention of CRE transmission is available in CDC's CRE toolkit.
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