Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

Definition:

Species of the Enterobacteriaceae family of Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. Such bacteria are often resistant to most other antibiotics too.

Many CRE produce enzymes known as carbapenemases that inactivate carbapenems and other beta-lactam antibiotics. Clinically important carbapenemases include the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), the Verona integron-encoded metallo-beta-lactamase (VIM), imipenemase (IMP) and oxacillinase-48 (OXA-48).

CRE can infect almost any part of the body. They are an important cause of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) in many settings. CRE are associated with high mortality and are considered among the most pressing public health challenges globally. They are categorized by WHO as a ‘priority 1 (critical)’ pathogen for R&D of new antibiotics.