Info Service on Health Issues (Aug18/11)
Dear friends and colleagues,
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections pose a major threat to patients and healthcare systems across Europe.
This warning came in a Rapid Risk Assessment in June from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
CRE can cause urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections and spread quickly in hospital settings. Such infections are linked to long hospital stays, high treatment costs, treatment failures and high mortality. ‘We should be very concerned about the rise in carbapenem resistance in the EU/EEA (European Union/European Economic Area) as there are very few options for the treatment of patients with CRE infections,’ said Dominique Monnet, head of the ECDC’s Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections Programme.
Data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) for 2016 show large differences in the national percentages of carbapenem-resistant bloodstream infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, ranging from zero percent to as high as 67 percent. But in Romania, Italy and Greece, the prevalence of carbapenem-resistant K pneumoniae was 31 percent, 34 percent and 67 percent respectively, and increasing trends for 2013 through 2016 were also observed in Portugal and Greece.
ECDC officials are also concerned that travel or transfer of patients from an EU/EEA member state with a high CRE rate to a country with low prevalence could cause CRE rates to rise in healthcare settings throughout Europe.