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CDC calls for expanding CRE infection prevention efforts

March 7, 2013

About 5% of acute-care hospitals and 18% of long-term care hospitals reported at least one infection involving a bacteria called carbapenem-resistent Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) to the National Healthcare Safety Network in the first half of 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Highly resistant to treatment with most antibiotics, CRE infections have a mortality rate exceeding 40%. While relatively rare in acute-care hospitals, CRE represents a growing share of Enterobacteriaceae infections. It also can spread rapidly in health care settings and has the potential to move to the community, CDC said. “The high proportion of LTACHs with CRE in 2012 highlights the need to expand prevention outside of short-stay acute-care hospitals into settings that, historically, have had less developed infection prevention programs,” the report states. “Additional research is needed to clarify unanswered questions, including assessing which CRE prevention strategies are most effective and investigating new prevention approaches such as decolonization.”