Airborne and Direct Contact Diseases - Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

Enterobacteriaceae (En-tero-bac-te-ri-a-ce-ae) are a family of bacteria normally found in our gut. They can also cause serious infection in the bladder, blood, wound and lungs. Carbapenems are a group of antibiotics used to treat these types of infections. Some of these bacteria have now become resistant to those antibiotics and are now known as Carbanpenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. Infections caused by CRE have a higher rate of death, due mostly to the limited treatment options available.

These germs are usually spread from person to person through contact with someone who is sick with the germ or who carries the germ without getting sick themselves. CRE can be spread from contact with infected wounds or from contact with stool of a person who carries the germ in their gut.

Persons with a weak immune system or patients in a hospital are at a higher risk. Prolonged use of medical devices and antibiotics can put a person at a higher risk.

For more information on CRE:

CRE fact sheet (Word* | also in PDF*)