A recent study
published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases
has reported the results of the first structured survey on the occurrence of carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae
and Escherichia coli
in European hospitals. According to the survey data, an average of 1.3 patients per 10,000 hospital admissions in Europe had a carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae
or E. coli
“We report data on the occurrence of carbapenemase-producing and last-line antibiotic resistant K. pneumoniae
and E. coli
using standardised procedures, and provide the first comparable and laboratory-substantiated data on the incidence of these difficult-to-treat bacteria across Europe,” write Hajo Grundmann, MD, from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and colleagues.
are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract and are among the most common human pathogens, causing urinary tract infections, septicemia, pneumonia, and device-associated infections, among others. These bacteria can easily spread between people by hand contact, as well as via contaminated food and water, and can cause infections in both healthcare and community settings.
(CPE) are Enterobacteriaceae
that are resistant to carbapenem antimicrobials through the production of carbapenemase. Treatment of infections involving CPE is difficult because these organisms are resistant to many antibiotics that are considered the last line of defense. Given their rising numbers in clinical specimens obtained from human patients, CPE represent one of the most serious public health threats worldwide.
In 2012, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) initiated the European Survey on Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae
(EuSCAPE), to investigate the occurrence of CPE in Europe and thus facilitate expansion of laboratory capabilities to meet required diagnostic workflow needs.
Between Nov 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, 455 hospitals from 36 European countries contributed to the survey, submitting a total of 2,703 clinical isolates. K. pneumoniae
of nosocomial origin were most commonly isolated, accounting for 85% (n=2,301) of the specimens, while E. coli
accounted for the remaining 15% (n=402); 37% (n=850) of the K. pneumoniae
isolates and 19% (n=77) of the E. coli
isolates were carbapenemase producers.