The CDC's current recommendations to control the transmission of CRE include the identification of colonized and infected patients in healthcare facilities. This is due to the fact that the majority of CRE have been isolated from patients with recent or prolonged exposure to healthcare settings.
The plasmid-borne gene, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) represents the preponderance of CRE cases in the United States. These KPC-producing organisms, most common among K. pneumoniae isolates, have now spread epidemically in the United States and around the world among hospitaliized patients.
Culture based screening for the detection of KPC involves the use of selective media to identify the production of carbapenemase, followed by identification using an automated microbial identification system. Commercially available selective agars include MacConkey agar supplemented with 1.0 µg/ml of meropenem and various chromogenic agars. Molecular methods for screening are only available on a limited basis and none are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).