Tracking Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA)

Bacteria are constantly finding new ways to avoid the effects of antibiotics. For example, some Pseudomonas can produce enzymes called carbapenemases that break down antibiotics including carbapenems, making the drugs ineffective. Carbapenem antibiotics are typically reserved to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, so when bacteria develop resistance to them, treatment options can be extremely limited.

As of 2018, CDC is tracking carbapenemase enzymes in CRPA using data generated by the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (AR Lab Network) and CDC laboratories. The AR Lab Network is not a surveillance network and therefore does not represent testing of every isolate in each state.

The AR Lab Network routinely tests for the following carbapenemases:

  • K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC): This was first identified in the United States around 2001 and is the most common carbapenemase in the United States.
  • New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM): A less common carbapenemase in the United States but concerning because it can be resistant to even more antibiotics than KPC.
  • Verona Integron-Enconded Metallo-beta-lactamase (VIM): A less common carbapenemase in the United States but concerning because it can be resistant to even more antibiotics than KPC.
  • Imipenemase (IMP): A less common carbapenemase in the United States but concerning because it can be resistant to even more antibiotics than KPC.
  • Oxacillinase-48-like (OXA-48-like): A less common carbapenemase in the United States.