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Infection Control Crisis Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae

Infection Control is critical as there is a dangerous new strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria that has been found in about 5% of US hospitals last year. The Center for Disease Control warns that this new superbug is Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). It is a difficult infection to treat and has a high mortality rate. Most of the CRE cases involved Klebsiella species of bacteria. CRE infections are important because once these bacteria invade the blood stream, mortality rates are greater than 40%. Most of these infections start in the urine. CRE strains frequently have other antibiotic resistant capabilities that make them immune from most antibiotics and several strains resistant to all antibiotics have been detected. New antibiotics that might be effective against CRE strains are years away from commercial availability. Because Enterobacteriaceae are the most common infective CRE organism in the health care setting, with pseudomonas and acinebacter species being others, these bacteria have the potential for moving out of the hospital and into our communities.

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