Klebsiella pneumoniae is a rod shaped type of bacteria commonly found in the normal flora of the mouth, skin, and intestines.
K. pneumoniae can in turn cause an infection called klebsiella pneumonia. This can provoke lung inflammation and cell death that may produce a thick, bloody, mucoid sputum. This often happens after the bacteria migrate from their normal place of resting to the lower respiratory tract. (For more on this see the questions below)
The KPC superbug arises when the Klebsiella bacteria become resistant to the carbapenem drugs often used to treat them. These drug resistant bacteria are called Carbapenemases. They are active in other bacteria beside Klebsiella and this resistance group are sometimes referred to as Carbapenem Resistant En (CRE)
Different types of KPC exist around the world and are most often seen in hospital patients with compromised immune systems and significant exposure to hospital infections. They have spread around the USA in the last 10 years and often have a foothold in long term care facilities.
They have gained media attention since September 2012 because of the interest in the battle that the National Insitute of Health experienced in uprooting the infection from their state of the art facility and the many deaths that have occurred from one single outbreak. KPC and CRE are considered to be among the most potent threats to public health in the world at this time. They threaten to turn formerly treatable infections into life ending challenges.
See our KPC superbug guide below
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- Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae: A Major Prevalence Difference due to the High Performance of Carbapenemase Producers when compared to the ... - PubMed - NCBI
- Low Prevalence of Carbapenem-Resistant Bacteria in River Water: Resistance Is Mostly Related to Intrinsic Mechanisms. - PubMed - NCBI
- Epidemiology of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in 7 US Communities, 2012-2013. - PubMed - NCBI
- Measuring Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in the United States: A Critical Step for Control. - PubMed - NCBI
- CRE Superbug Infection Fairly Rare: Study | Medpage Today
- CRE surveillance reveals high prevalence of prior hospitalizations, indwelling devices
- Antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae colonization in healthy U.S. children
- JAMA Network | JAMA | Epidemiology of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in 7 US Communities, 2012-2013
- Study profiles US threat from drug-resistant bacteria | CIDRAP
- New Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbug' an Emerging Threat, CDC Says
- FDA orders postmarketing review of duodenoscopes
- Large Nosocomial Outbreak of Colistin-Resistant, Carbapenemase-Producing ... - Journal of Clinical Microbiology
- Medicines Co. (MDCO) Presents Data on New Series of BLIs at ICAAC/ICC
- Results of Phase 2 Study of Merck’s Investigational Beta-Lactamase Inhibitor Relebactam Presented at ICAAC/ICC 2015 - MarketWatch
- The Medicines Company Announces BARDA Exercises Next Option on Contract