Endemic levels of CRE hit D.C. facilities

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Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, a highly pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that worries nursing home providers, has hit a 5.2% prevalence rate in Washington, D.C. healthcare facilities, according to a recent analysis.

One long-term care facility had a 29.4% rate, researchers said. The goal is to help providers establish a baseline prevalence rate for CRE and prevent future outbreaks. The high rates raise the possibility of hyperendemicity, which is persistently high levels of a disease in a community. CRE can cause a fever, rapid pulse, targeted pain or infections.

"CRE is a significant clinical and public health concern, with a potential for widespread and rapid transmission within and between facilities,” said Roberta DeBiasi, M.D., a principal investigator of the study and division chief of infectious diseases at Children's National Medical Center.

One takeaway for providers: Compared to women, men had double the prevalence rate of CRE, at 7.1%.

This study examined 16 facilities, including five skilled nursing facilities to complete more than 1,000 tests. The D.C. Department of Health, D.C. Hospital Association and the D.C. Department of Forensic-Public Health Lab completed this study under the Healthcare Antibiotic Resistance Prevalence - DC project.  

Results were published last week in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.