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Acute Communicable Disease Control


Acute Communicable Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856
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Acute Communicable Disease Control
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 pneumoniae produce an enzyme known as a carbapenemase, they are referred to as KPC producing organisms or carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP). This 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.

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