Carbapenemase-Producing Organisms: A Global Scourge
The dramatic increase in the prevalence and clinical impact of infections caused by bacteria producing carbapenemases is a global health concern. Carbapenemase production is especially problematic when encountered in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Due to their ability to readily spread and colonize patients in healthcare environments, preventing the transmission of these organisms is a major public health initiative and coordinated international effort are needed. Central to the treatment and control of carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs) are phenotypic (growth-/biochemical-dependent) and nucleic acid-based carbapenemase detection tests that identify carbapenemase activity directly or their associated molecular determinants. Importantly, bacterial isolates harboring carbapenemases are often resistant to multiple antibiotic classes, resulting in limited therapy options. Emerging agents, novel antibiotic combinations and treatment regimens offer promise for management of these infections. This review highlights our current understanding of CPOs with emphasis on their epidemiology, detection, treatment, and control.