CPE continues to spread throughout Europe

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, a type antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are continuing to pose a threat to healthcare in Europe, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Monday.

In response to the spread of CPE, the ECDC announced that a group of European experts will implement the European Survey on a Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae. The first results of EuSCAPE were published on Thursday in Eurosurveillance.

In February, national experts from 39 European countries came together to self-assess, using an online questionnaire, the current epidemiological situation of CPE. The experts also provided information about how CPE is managed in their countries.

CPE are resistant to multiple antimicrobials, leaving few therapeutic options for treating infected patients. Human infections with CPE are associated with increased morbidity, poorer patient outcomes, increased mortality and higher hospital costs.

While most countries reported single hospital outbreaks, the experts found the epidemiological situation deteriorated in many European countries in the past three years. The experts noted an increasing awareness of the urgency to control CPE, as indicated by a growing availability of guidance on measures for infection control. According to the experts, 46 percent of surveyed countries still lacked necessary guidance.

The EuSCAPE results point to a need for a coordinated European effort on active surveillance, early diagnosis and guidance on measures for infection control for CPE. The experts also highlighted a need to improve laboratory detection of CPE to allow for active surveillance and preventive action using a network of European laboratories.