About Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

On this page:
About CRE
History
Transmission
People most at risk
Preventing antibiotic resistance
More about antibiotic resistance

About Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

  • CRE cause a variety of infections including pneumonia, bloodstream, wound, and urinary tract infections.
  • The carbapenem class of antibiotics includes meropenem, imipenem, ertapenem, and doripenem. These antibiotics are often used as the last line of treatment for infections caused by resistant Gram-negative bacteria including Enterobacteriaceae.

History

  • The MDH Public Health Laboratory first confirmed a CRE isolate in Minnesota in March 2009.

Transmission

  • In health care settings, CRE can easily spread from one patient to another on the hands of health care personnel or through contact with contaminated surfaces and patient care equipment. These bacteria are not spread through the air.

People most at risk

  • Infections caused by CRE most commonly occur in people who have:
    • Chronic medical conditions.
    • Recent frequent or prolonged stays in healthcare settings.
    • Invasive medical devices such as ventilators or intravenous catheters.
    • History of taking certain antibiotics for long periods of time.
  • Healthy people usually do not get infections caused by CRE bacteria.

Preventing antibiotic resistance

  • You can help prevent the development and spread of drug-resistant bacteria by:
    • Using antibiotics only when your health care provider prescribes them and always taking all the medicine that is prescribed
    • Never asking for antibiotics for a viral infection such as a cold
    • Never letting anyone take leftover antibiotics or a prescription that was used by someone else in your household
    • Washing your hands thoroughly to help prevent the spread of infections.

More about CRE and antimicrobial resistance

Updated Friday, 31-May-2013 09:07:00 CDT