Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

Image of CRE

CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a group of bacteria that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.  They are becoming a growing threat to public health because they cannot be treated with carbapenems, a type of antibiotics usually used to treat severe infections.  CRE is most often spread in healthcare settings through contact with wounds or infected stool. Patients can also get a CRE infection from medical devices such as catheters or ventilators. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a much higher risk for a CRE infection. While CRE are often resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, they may still be treatable with one or more antibiotics. Decisions on treatment of CRE infections should be made on a case-by-case basis by a health care provider.

Appropriate antibiotic use is one of the most important things we can do in order to prevent CRE infections. Use antibiotics only as prescribed by a health care provider. Finish the entire course as directed, even if you start to feel better. Good handwashing practices are also important, because drug-resistant infections are often spread by hand-to-hand transmission.

More information about CRE

Publication: Living with Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative Rods (MDR GNR)

This booklet provides basic information about caring for yourself and others diagnosed with multidrug-resistant gram-negative rods, like CRE.

Living with Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative Rods Booklet Cover

Resources for Health Care Providers: