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Enterobacteriaceae are a large quantity of bacteria that usually live harmlessly in the gut of all humans, but can cause opportunistic infections such as UTIs, hospital acquired pneumonia and blood stream infections.

They are Gram negative organisms and they include E. coli, Klebsiella spp. and Enterobacter spp. Some of these organisms have become resistant to antibiotics by producing enzymes that inactivate even broad spectrum antibiotics such as meropenem. In 2013 the Department of Health (DH) produced the Acute Trust Toolkit for the Early Detection, Management and Control of CPE.

This policy is being written in line with the Toolkit, which provides practical advice for staff to identify high risk patients and manage them appropriately to minimise infection and transmission.

CPE is becoming prevalent in many countries, including the UK –Appendix 2 provides a current list of countries and regions with high prevalence. A number of clusters and outbreaks have been reported in the UK, especially in Manchester and London and this poses an increasing threat to our patients.

In the last few years the UK has seen a rapid increase in the incidence of colonisation and infection by multi-resistant organisms such as CPEs.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Prodine Kubalalika, Senior Specialist Nurse - Infection Prevention and Control
Ratified by: Control of Infection Control Committee
Date Ratified: May 2016
Date Issued: August 2019
Review Date: May 2021
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Prodine Kubalalika, Senior Specialist Nurse - Infection Prevention and Control


See also:

  • Department of Health (2013) Acute Trust toolkit for the early detection, management and control of Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE).
  • Multi-Resistant Gram Negative Bacilli Policy (CPE Policy)
  • Isolation Policy
  • Outbreak Management Policy
  • Admission, Transfer & Discharge Policy for the Infected Patient
  • Operational guidelines