Key bacterial pathogens
The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are responsible for a significant proportion of nosocomial infections throughout the world. They represent the vast majority of clinical isolates whose resistance to multiple antimicrobials presents major challenges for effective therapeutic intervention by clinicians.
Of particular note are the Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a sub-group of Gram-negative bacteria e.g. Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species which are resistant to the carbapenem class of antimicrobials . This class of antimicrobials is typically reserved for the treatment of more serious clinical infections. CRE are often considered as the new “superbug” as these bacteria can kill up to half of the patients who develop bloodstream infections from these pathogens.
Worryingly, carbapenem resistance is growing exponentially – resistant Klebsiella rose from 0.6% to 5.4% between 2004 and 2008 in the US, and in Thailand 70% of Pseudomonas infections are carbapenem resistant.