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Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)

​What is the Enterobacteriaceae Bacteria?

Enterobacteriaceae are a family of bacteria found in the human gut. When these bacteria spreads outside the gut, it can cause serious infections such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Wound infection
  • Bloodstream infections

They are one of the most common causes of bacterial infections in the healthcare and community settings.

What is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)?

CRE refers to the Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics, specifically the Carbapenem antibiotics.

What is Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)?

CPE are CRE that produce enzymes causing resistance to carbapenems.

Where did I get This Bacteria From?

While studies are ongoing to understand how individuals might be tested positive with CPE, some risk factors include:

  • Exposure to antibiotics
  • Poor immune system
  • Exposure to hospital and nursing homes
  • Long stay in hospital
  • Devices going into a patient’s body like ventilators (breathing machines), urine tubes or intravenous tubes

How Will I be Treated now That I Have this Bacteria?

​​While this bacteria is in your gut, it is not making you ill. Thus, no treatment is needed for now.
However, if a doctor has found that you are having a CPE infection, you will be treated for the infection with the help of an Infectious Disease Specialist.

What Happens when I am Tested positive for CPE?

​A hospital policy is in place for CPE. If you are screened positive for CPE:

  • You will be admitted/transferred into a single room/isolation room or cohorted with other CPE patients in designated wards/cubicles.
  • You will be on “Contact Precautions” for CPE, where the healthcare professional in contact with you will use apron/gown and gloves. This is required to prevent spread of the bacteria within the hospital.

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) 1.png

Why was I not Informed Early?

While this bacteria is in your gut, it is not making you ill. Thus, no treatment is needed for now.
Hence, there is no urgent need to inform immediately after discharge.

How Long Will I be on “Contact Precautions?”

Contact Precautions with isolation/cohorting is mandatory throughout patient’s stay or re-admission.
At present, there are no recommended guidelines for discontinuation of Contact Precautions during hospitalisation.

Am I Allowed to Leave the Single/Isolation Room or Cohorted Ward/Cubicles?

Unless you need to go for x-ray, surgery or other procedures, you should remain in the room or cubicle.

Is There Anything That can be Done to Minimise the spread of CPE?

We encourage all visitors, including family members and friends visiting you, to thoroughly clean their hands before and after touching other people or the environment.

Will My Family Members get the Bacteria?

The risk of spreading the bacteria to family members is extremely low.
Good general hygiene and hand hygiene measures are sufficient.

What Happens When I Return Home?

​No special measures or treatments will be needed.
Continue to practise good hand washing with soap and water especially after using the toilet.

Will I get Infected in the Future?

The risk of CPE carriers progressing to develop infection is low (< 10%). If this happens, your doctors will treat you with appropriate antibiotics.

As a final reminder:

  • Good hand hygiene habits are important to prevent the spread of infection.
  • All visitors should wash their hands before and after visiting the hospital.

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) 2.png

For more information on CRE/CPE:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Healthcare Settings:

​If you have any questions about CRE/CPE, please contact your Doctor or Nurse-in-charge.

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