CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, are strains of bacteria that are resistant to carbapenem, a class of antibiotics typically used as a last resort for treating severe infections when other antibiotics have failed. These organisms have been described as "nightmare bacteria" because they have become resistant to nearly all available antibiotics, making CRE infections extremely difficult to treat and potentially deadly.
CRE will continue its march across the country, accounting for more and more gut infections. Hopefully, in time, hospitals will get the right tools to fight back.
CRE continue to evolve, posing an increasing threat to patients of all ages. Mechanisms of carbapenem resistance are variable, and the breadth of MGEs in Enterobacteriaceae—carbapenemase genes and other antibiotic resistance mechanisms and virulence determinants—continues to expand.
When it became recognized that these highly resistant bacteria could travel asymptomatically in the guts of unknowing patients, not enough thought was given to how far they might spread, and so CREs disseminated across the globe.
In recent years, antibiotic misuse has accelerated the natural process of bacterial resistance, rendering some antibiotics useless and causing experts to warn that we are at the "dawn of a post-antibiotic era" that amounts to a health threat on par with terrorism.
This review describes the current epidemiology of CRE in the United States and highlights important prevention strategies.
Without being able to count on carbapenems, the “last resort” class of antibiotic that used to work against other antibiotic resistant Enterobacteriaceae, health care providers are forced to resort to old – and sometimes archaic — treatments.
Federal officials warned health care providers across the country on Thursday that difficult-to-clean medical scopes inserted down the throat might be infecting patients with deadly drug-resistant bacteria.
A member of the family that doesn’t get as much press is Klebsiella. It’s a fairly common cause of infections in hospitals, such as urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Different species also live widely in the environment.
Asymptomatic carriers of carbapenem-resistant bacteria could be a major driver of hospital infections and the finding “provides further evidence of the need for active surveillance strategies,” says Joshua Thaden, a physician in the Duke University School of Medicine Division of Infectious Disease, who wasn’t involved in the research.
THERE'S WORRISOME NEWS here in the southeastern U.S., buried in a journal that is favorite reading only for superbug geeks like me. The rate at which hospitals are recognizing cases of CRE – the form of antibiotic resistance that is so serious the CDC dubbed it a "nightmare" – rose five times over between 2008 and 2012.
Within that bad news, there are two especially troubling points. First, the hospitals where this resistance factor was identified were what is called "community" hospitals, that is, not academic referral centers.
There's reason to believe that a drug-resistant bacteria could be a "catastrophic" health crisis, especially given the lack of a response plan and especially for older people in the United States. No location is exactly safe, but before you freak out, here's some much needed context.
CRE infection is extremely difficult to cure because so few antibiotics are available with activity against the strain; furthermore, those that are available have issues with side effects. It is a nasty business affecting already ailing people for whom yet another problem may precipitate a tipping point in the wrong direction.
The family of superbugs made headlines two years ago when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned it was spreading. Now, they're back in the news after seven patients at a Los Angeles hospital caught CRE after routine endoscopic treatments for bile ducts, gall bladder or pancreas.
As part of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday unveiled the first-ever global guidelines for preventing and controlling three types of carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria in health settings that are highly transmissible, difficult to treat, and can cause severe illness and death.
News reports are describing a "nightmare superbug" killing people in California. But scientists who study infectious diseases say the risk from this outbreak doesn't live up to the alarming headlines.
It shouldn't happen — someone goes into the hospital to get better and instead comes out with a potentially deadly "superbug" infection.
Healthy people usually do not get CRE infections – they usually happen to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. 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.
First, what are dangerous CRE (Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae) bacteria? Simply stated, these bacteria are members of related bacterial genera that are commonly found almost everywhere in the world, often colonizing humans and animals (living in or on humans and animals mucosal surfaces, gastrointestinal tracts and on some areas on the skin). However, CRE possess a unique genetic makeup that allows the bacteria to make a component (an enzyme) that protect CRE bacteria from a powerful antibiotic - Carbapenem.