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Open Access Highly Accessed Letter to the Editor

The rise of carbapenem resistance in Europe: just the tip of the iceberg?

Anna-Pelagia Magiorakos1*, Carl Suetens1, Dominique L Monnet1, Carlo Gagliotti2, Ole E Heuer1 and EARS-Net Coordination Group and EARS-Net participants

Author Affiliations

1 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Tomtebodavägen 11A, Stockholm SE-171 83, Sweden

2 Agenzia Sanitaria e Sociale Regionale Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, Italy

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Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2:6  doi:10.1186/2047-2994-2-6

Published: 14 February 2013

Abstract

The European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) collects data on carbapenem resistance from invasive bacterial infections. Increasing percentages of carbapenem resistance in K. pneumoniae isolates were reported from progressively more countries in Europe between 2005 and 2010. A trend analysis showed increasing trends for Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Italy (p < 0.01). EARS-Net collects data on invasive bacterial isolates, which likely correspond to a fraction of the total number of infections. Increasing reports of community cases suggest that dissemination of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae has penetrated into the community. Good surveillance and infection control measures are urgently needed to contain this spread.

Keywords:
Carbapenems; Antimicrobial drug resistance; Gram-negative bacteria; Klebsiella infections; Europe; β-lactamases