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October 13, 2015

Measuring Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in the United States: A Critical Step for Control

Author Affiliations
  • 1Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2015;314(14):1455-1456. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.11629

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) may be the most concerning contemporary antibiotic resistance threat. Enterobacteriaceae comprise a large group of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and are common causes of health care–associated and community-acquired infections. Carbapenems, such as imipenem, meropenem, ertapenem, and doripenem are among the broadest-spectrum and most potent β-lactam antibiotics. For decades, carbapenems were reliably active against Enterobacteriaceae, and thus were frequently selected for empirical treatment of suspected serious gram-negative infections.