Definition of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): a group of bacteria belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family that are especially difficult to treat because of their resistance to certain antibiotics such as carbapenem. E. coli and Klebsiella are examples of Enterobacteriaceae, and this type of bacteria is present normally in the human intestine. Healthy people are typically not affected by CRE infections. Those who normally usually develop these infections are people being treated for other conditions or who are taking long courses of antibiotics. People on respiratory support (ventilators) or who have indwelling catheters like IV lines or urinary catheters are at increased risk for CRE infections. Examples of CRE include KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) and NDM (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase). Carbapenemase and beta-lactamase are enzymes that break down antibiotics.
REFERENCE: CDC.gov. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
Last Editorial Review: 3/11/2013
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