About Gram-negative Bacteria

Key points

  • Gram-negative bacteria can cause serious infections in healthcare settings.
  • Infections from these bacteria are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to antimicrobial resistance.
  • To prevent these infections, healthcare providers should follow recommended infection control practices.
Gram-negative bacteria


Gram-negative bacteria cause infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in healthcare settings. These infections can be hard to treat since the bacteria causing them can become resistant to common antibiotics. Resistance to most or all antibiotics has also been reported.

Who is at risk

Patients in healthcare settings are at highest risk.



CDC collaborates with laboratories to identify and recommend tests to detect gram-negative bacteria.


Gram-negative infections can be difficult to treat. Some types of gram-negative bacteria can become resistant to multiple drugs, including (and increasingly) antibiotics like carbapenems.

What CDC is doing