Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of different types of germs (bacteria) that commonly cause infections in healthcare settings. Examples of germs in the Enterobacteriaceae family include Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when the germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them. Enterobacteriaceae bacteria are constantly finding new ways to avoid the effects of the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.

When Enterobacteriaceae develop resistance to the group of antibiotics called carbapenems, the germs are called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

CRE are difficult to treat because they do not respond to commonly used antibiotics. Occasionally CRE are resistant to all available antibiotics. CRE are a threat to public health.