(HealthDay News) — Surveillance of seven U.S. metropolitan areas found higher-than-expected levels of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York City, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published online October 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The CDC conducted active surveillance of CRE in 2012 and 2013 among people living in seven cities: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland, OR The overall rate of CRE in those cities was 2.93 infections per 100,000 people. While the rates were higher than expected in Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York City, lower-than-expected levels were found in Albuquerque, Denver, and Portland, OR. The Minneapolis rate was what the agency anticipated.
About 9% of people died due to their infection from CRE, the researchers found. Hospitalization was the most common potential exposure to CRE, and patients’ median age was 66.
The rates remain low compared with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. However, CRE has become more common in a short amount of time, Mary Hayden, MD, an associate professor of pathology at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, told HealthDay. “I think we learned from those situations that these problems can spread very rapidly,” she said. “If we look at what has happened with other similar antibiotic-resistant organisms, we can see what will happen with this unless we do something now.”