Containment Strategy Responding to Emerging AR Threats

When launched at the first sign of a problem, CDC’s Containment Strategy keeps new or rare forms of antibiotic resistance from spreading.  Containment complements foundational CDC strategies, including improving antibiotic use and preventing infections, and builds on existing detection and response structure. The entire package is needed to address urgent threats such as Candida auris and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), before they gain a foothold.  Working together, public health teams can defend the nation from new threats and help protect patients.


Be On Alert for Unusual Resistance Such As:

  • Candida auris
  • Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • VRSA
  • Isolates resistant to all antibiotics tested

Email  for information about what AR threats are considered unusual for your area.

The Containment Strategy includes:

  • Rapid identification
  • Infection control assessments
  • Colonization screenings when needed
  • Coordinated response between facilities
  • Continue assessments and colonization screenings until spread is controlled

Containment Response Tiers

These 3 response tiers help health departments launch effective and tailored responses once a threat is confirmed by the laboratory:

  • Tier 1: Genes and germs for which no treatment options exist or genes and germs which have never or only rarely been detected in the U.S
  • Tier 2: Genes and germs not commonly detected in a geographic area
  • Tier 3: Genes and germs that are known threats in a geographic area but not endemic


Unusual Antibiotic Resistance Threats

CDC’s April 2018 Vital Signs Containing Unusual Resistance asks health departments to lead aggressive detection and response activities when new or rare genes and germs are identified. This includes threats like germs resistant to all antibiotics, Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), Candida auris, and certain types of “nightmare bacteria” like CRE and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA).

Antibiotic resistance threats vary by state.  Health departments should make sure all health care facilities know what isolates (pure samples of a germ) to send for testing, and what state and local laboratory support is available.

Examples of unusual antibiotic resistance germs include those that:

  • Are resistant to all or most antibiotics tested, making them hard to treat, and
  • Are uncommon in a geographic area or the US, or
  • Have special genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.