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Medical News and Perspectives |

“Nightmare” Bacteria on the Rise in US Hospitals, Long-term Care Facilities

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2013;309(15):1573-1574. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2922.
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Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are gaining a foothold in US health care facilities, particularly long-term care facilities, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2012, only a decade after the CDC first identified a case of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in a North Carolina long-term care facility, nearly 5% of acute care hospitals and nearly 18% of long-term care facilities reported at least 1 carbapenem-resistant infection associated with health care, according to a CDC report (MMWR. 2013;62[09]:165-170). These infections are difficult or impossible to treat because the organisms are resistant to even the last-resort antibiotics. As a result, about half of these patients die, according to the CDC.

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New data suggest that resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae are becoming more common. A microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examines some of the bacteria.

(Photo credit: CDC)

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