Symptoms and Signs of CRE Infection (Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Infection)

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Medically Reviewed on 3/10/2020

Doctor's Notes on CRE Infection (Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Infection)

CRE infection (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infection) is a condition where a bacterial species causes an infection and produces enzymes that break down carbapenem antibiotics so that the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics. Signs and symptoms vary with the area or organ system infected. CRE infections often develop severe symptoms as follows:

The bacteria that causes CRE infections usually infect people who are immune compromised and who are often already on antibiotics. The bacterial genera that may cause CRE are as follows:

  • Salmonella
  • Escherichia
  • Yersinia
  • Klebsiella
  • Proteus
  • Enterobacter
  • Serratia
  • Citrobacter

Lab tests can determine if bacteria are carbapenem resistant (CRE). Treatment depends on treating the patient with multiple antibiotics to which the bacteria may be susceptible. Unfortunately, CRE bacteria are often resistant to multiple antibiotics. The CDC suggests that about half of patients with CRE infections will die despite treatment.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.