Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae (CRKP)
Klebsiella is a type of gram-negative bacteria that can
cause infections in healthcare settings, including
pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical
site infections, and meningitis. Increasingly,
Klebsiella bacteria have developed antibiotic
resistance, most recently to the class of antibiotics
known as carbapenems. When bacteria such as Klebsiella
produce an enzyme known as a carbapenemase,
they are referred to as KPC producing organisms or
carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae
is considered a threat to patient safety because
carbapenem antibiotics often are the last line of
defense against gram-negative infections that are
resistant to other antibiotics.
Message from the Director:
Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH
Recent news reports have covered a data analysis by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health of a healthcare-associated, multiple-drug resistant pathogen called carbapenem-resistant
Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP).
Following reports of cases of CRKP at local hospitals in spring 2010, Public Health required for the first time that all laboratories for healthcare facilities report cases of this disease. Between June and December 2010, laboratories countywide reported a total of 356 cases.
A summary of DPH’s first analysis of data was developed for peer-to-peer presentation at a national epidemiology conference to be held April 1-4, 2011. As part of the promotion for the conference, the conference organizers released this data to the media on March 23, 2011.
This survey is intended to establish a baseline for the overall frequency of CRKP infections in LA County. It is important to note that 356 cases represents a very low percentage of healthcare-associated infections and CRKP is only one of a growing number of multiple-drug resistant organisms.
All multiple-drug resistant organisms are a concern to Public Health. We will continue surveillance to assess trends in number of cases of CRKP in Los Angeles County. The Department is notifying physicians about the study findings regarding this organism and providing continuing education about the problem of multiple-drug resistant bacteria as well as the role of appropriate antibiotic use in combating the continuing problem of resistance development.
Patients can help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria by fully completing the course of treatment for any prescribed antibiotics and not insisting on antibiotic therapy for a health problem if not recommend by their physician. Finally, both healthcare staff and patients can reduce the spread of CRKP and other pathogens through frequent handwashing or use of a waterless alcohol-based hand rub.