Monday, 11 November 2013

CRE: The new superbug?



Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a group of gram-negative bacteria, including Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli, that have high levels of resistance to carbapenem antibiotics.

On 7 March 2013, CNN reported:

“Hospitals need to take action against the spread of a deadly, antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria kill up to half of patients who are infected.

“The bacteria, called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, have increased over the past decade and grown resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics, according to the CDC. In the first half of 2012, 200 health care facilities treated patients infected with CRE.”

According to the CDC:

“Healthy people usually do not get CRE infections. In healthcare settings, CRE infections most commonly occur among patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions. Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines), urinary (bladder) catheters, or intravenous (vein) catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections.

“Some CRE bacteria have become resistant to most available antibiotics. Infections with these germs are very difficult to treat, and can be deadly—one report cites they can contribute to death in up to 50% of patients who become infected.”

Elsevier has some interesting references to CRE, which can be found here.
Posted by Tim Sandle

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