The gut of every normal, healthy human contains bacteria called Enterobacteriaceae. While they are in the gut, they cause no harm and help us digest our food. This is called colonisation. However, if these bacteria get into the wrong place, such as the bladder or bloodstream, they can cause infection.
Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are a strain of these Enterobacteriaceae. They have developed a resistance to a powerful group of antibiotics called carbapenems. Carbapenems are an important group of antibiotics that doctors often rely on to fight infections where treatment with other antibiotics has failed. It’s important that we stop the spread of CPE in our hospitals. This will make sure that these antibiotics continue to be available to treat infections in the future.