Enterobacteriaceae are a family of Gram-negative bacteria (sometimes called coliforms) which are part of the normal range of bacteria found in the gut.
Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are a type of bacteria that are extremely resistant to antibiotics. These bacteria carry a gene for a carbapenemase enzyme that breaks down carbapenem antibiotics. Carbapenems are a class of very broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics which are used to treat serious infections or conditions where other therapeutic options have failed.
By identifying patients who are colonised with CPE or who have a high risk of colonisation, we can make sure that they receive the most appropriate care and prevent the spread of CPE to others. It is very important to know that someone is colonised with CPE so that if an infection develops, the best antibiotic to treat the infection is identified quickly.