The carbapenems issue

David Sotello MD, Wadih Chakkour MD, Kristen Fuhrmann Pharm D


The development of antibiotics remains one of the great advances in medicine. Antibiotics have saved countless lives. Unfortunately, the widespread use of antimicrobials has led to the development of antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic resistance is an important concern for public health; it is associated with poor outcomes. Carbapenems, members of the β-lactam class of antibiotics, have the broadest spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Carbapenem resistance is one of the toughest challenges in infectious diseases; it is associated with high mortality and is seen more often now due to the proliferation of multi-drug resistant bacteria. Multiple genes that cause carbapenem resistance have been identified. Resistance transmission is usually nosocomial, but community-acquired infections with resistance have been reported. Early recognition of high risk patients for multi-drug resistant infections is fundamental for adequate management. The rational use of antibiotics is required to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance; this requires multidisciplinary efforts among clinicians, Infection Control departments, and Antimicrobial Stewardship programs.

Keywords: Resistance, Antibiotics, Carbapenem, Carbapenemase, β-lactamase

Article citation: Sotello D, Chakkour W, Fuhrmann K. The Carbapenems Issue. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles 2018; 6(25):5–7
From: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (DS, WC), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas; Infectious Diseases pharmacist (KF) at University Medical Center, Lubbock, Texas.
Submitted: 1/6/2018
Accepted: 4/27/2018
Reviewer: Victor Test MD
Conflicts of interest: none
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