Background Gaps in the diagnostic capacity and heterogeneity of national surveillance and reporting standards in Europe make it difficult to contain carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. We report the development of a consistent sampling framework and the results of the first structured survey on the occurrence of carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli in European hospitals.
Methods National expert laboratories recruited hospitals with diagnostic capacities, who collected the first ten carbapenem non-susceptible clinical isolates of K pneumoniae or E coli and ten susceptible same-species comparator isolates and pertinent patient and hospital information. Isolates and data were relayed back to national expert laboratories, which made laboratory-substantiated information available for central analysis.
Findings Between Nov 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, 455 sentinel hospitals in 36 countries submitted 2703 clinical isolates (2301 [85%] Kpneurnoniae and 402 (15%) Ecoli). 850 (37%) of 2301 Kpneumoniae samples and 77 (19%) of 402 Ecoli samples were carbapenemase (KPC, NDM, OXA-48-like, or VIM) producers. The ratio of K pneumoniae to E coli was 11:1.1.3 patients per 10000 hospital admissions had positive clinical specimens. Prevalence differed greatly, with the highest rates in Mediterranean and Balkan countries. Carbapenemase-producing K pneumoniae isolates showed high resistance to last-line antibiotics.
Interpretation This initiative shows an encouraging commitment by all participants, and suggests that challenges in the establishment of a continent-wide enhanced sentinel surveillance for carbapenemase-producing Entero-bacteriaeceae can be overcome. Strengthening infection control efforts in hospitals is crucial for controlling spread through local and national health care networks.