Enterobacteriaceae are a group of bacteria that include Salmonella, E. coli, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter. These kinds of bacteria often can live inside the body as a normal part of the intestines. However, when they become resistant to certain antibiotics, they can cause serious infections.
Enterobacteriaceae that have developed resistance to the antibiotic class of carbapenems are known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. Carbapenems are considered the last resort of antibiotics used to treat antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and if a bacteria develops resistance to Carbapenems, there are few other known antibiotics that can treat that infection.
CRE infections almost always occur in hospitals and healthcare facilities, and the mode of transmission is similar to that of other healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), such as MRSA and VRE. CRE can be spread from the hands of healthcare workers or infected medical equipment, and eventually infect the blood or other internal organs. People who are most susceptible to CRE infection are patients who are on ventilators or catheters, or are taking long courses of antibiotics.
Recently, a hospital at UCLA reported two patient deaths due to a CRE outbreak, and 179 other patients were exposed to the bacteria. The cause of this infection was a contaminated endoscope, an instrument used to look inside patients’ intestines. Other studies on CRE outbreaks in different hospitals have identified sinks and other wet places as reservoirs for the bacteria. The spread of CRE and other bacteria through contaminated objects and surfaces is preventable, and emphasizes the importance of having an infection control plan in place.
Environmental, high-touch surfaces, such as sinks, doorknobs, and countertops should be disinfected routinely. Medical instruments should be disinfected thoroughly based on the manufacturer’s directions. Also, proper hand hygiene is essential for healthcare workers.
Multi-Clean offers three EPA-registered disinfectants with claims against Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae. For more information about these disinfectants visit our Infection Control Webpage.
For more information about CRE visit the CDC Information Webpage.