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Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)

​What is the Enterobacteriaceae Bacteria?

Enterobacteriaceae refers to the family of bacteria commonly found in the normal human gut.
Outside the gut, they can cause other serious infections
such as:

  • Pneumonias
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Wound infections
  • Bloodstream infections

What is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)?

CRE refers to the Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that are resistant to carbapenems, a class of antibiotics.

What is Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)?

CPE refer to Enterobacteriaceae that produce specific enzymes (carbapenemases) that cause resistance to carbapenems through breaking down of the
antibiotic itself.

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?

Currently, you are carrying this bacteria in your gut. If it is not making you ill, no treatment is needed.
However, if a doctor has evaluated you to have a CPE infection, you will be treated for the infection with the help of an Infectious Diseases 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 an apron/ a gown and gloves. This is required to prevent spread of the bacteria within the hospital.

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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 guidelines for Contact Precautions during hospitalisation.

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

Unless you need to go for specialized tests or 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 for family members.

What Happens When I Return Home?

No special measures or treatments are 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 persons who are colonized with CPE progressing to develop infection is low.
If you are concerned about this happening, please do seek your doctors’ advice and evaluation.

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

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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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