Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales: a profound threat to Australian public health

Erin Flynn, Lito E. Papanicolas, Nicholas Anagnostou, Morgyn S. Warner, Geraint B. Rogers

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The spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) is a major threat to health care systems worldwide. In regions where CPE has become endemic, its impact on health outcomes has been catastrophic. The timely implementation of coordinated national responses is key to minimising these risks in Australia.

Effective antibiotic treatment of infections is fundamental to modern medicine. Without it, the risks associated with routine activities, including surgery, cancer therapy and childbirth, are unacceptably high. Worryingly, the number of bacterial pathogens that are associated with antibiotic treatment failure due to acquired resistance is growing rapidly. Among these, CPE is arguably the most concerning. Enterobacterales is an order of Gram-negative bacilli that includes pathogenic genera, such as Escherichia, Klebsiella and Salmonella. While these bacteria can colonise the gastrointestinal tract asymptomatically, they can also spread beyond the gut to cause life-threatening infections, even in otherwise healthy individuals...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-292
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number7
Early online date3 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Anti-infective agents
  • Drug resistance
  • microbial
  • Microbiology
  • Prevention and control
  • Public health


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