New guidance has been developed by the HPA, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (ARHAI), to advise on the management of patients who are infected with bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics.
The guidance, being issued to all consultant medical microbiologists and infection control specialists across the UK:
The geographical distribution and epidemiology of different types of carbapenem resistance is also outlined.
The guidance has been developed in response to enquiries from microbiologists and infection control specialists on the appropriate use of antibiotics following the identification of cases of infection with resistance to carbapenems, including those with the NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo) beta lactamase enzyme, which was described in a paper co-authored by the HPA and published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases in August 2010.
Aside from NDM-1 the HPA reports that other carbapenemases (enzymes that destroy carbapenems) are being seen in the UK, for example Verona Imipenemase (VIM), Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and OXA-48.
Guidance on carbapenem resistance producers (PDF, 784 KB)