Superbugs move beyond healthcare setting, CDC study finds 

The CDC found 1 in 10 infections caused by a type of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogen are community-associated, occurring in patients who had not been exposed to healthcare-linked risks, like hospitalizations.

Researchers from the agency partnered with eight U.S. health departments for the study. They used population-based surveillance data for patients infected by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales from January 2012 to December 2015. Most of the infections were observed in women with urinary tract infections.  

Their findings were published July 27 in the American Journal of Infection Control. 

"CRE cause difficult-to-treat infections and have the potential to spread rapidly, including outside of the healthcare setting, where most cases currently occur … and some Enterobacterales are common causes of infection that occur in the community already," Sandra Bulens, CDC epidemiologist and lead study author, told CIDRAP News. "So there's a real potential for these organisms to spread into the community."

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