Exploring the epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in west London and the utility of routinely collected hospital microbiology data

Rachel Freeman*, L. S.P. Moore, Andre Charlett, H. Donaldson, A. H. Holmes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify carbapenem-resistant organisms using routinely collected local microbiology data and describe the epidemiology of carbapenem resistance in two London teaching hospitals. Methods: Data on inpatients infected or colonized with Gram-negative organisms between March 2009 and February 2012 were extracted. A computer algorithm was developed incorporating internationally recognized criteria to distinguish carbapenem-resistant organisms. Multivariable analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with infection or colonization with carbapenem-resistant organisms. Binomial regression was performed to detect changes in resistance trends over time. Results: Yearly incidence of carbapenem resistance was observed to be increasing, with significant increasing trends in Acinetobacter baumannii (47.1% in 2009-10 to 77.2% in 2011-12; P<0.001) and Enterobacter spp. (2.2% in 2009-10 to 11.5% in 2011-12; P<0.001). Single-variable and multivariable analysis demonstrated differences in the proportion of carbapenem-resistant isolates across all variables investigated, including age, sex and clinical specialty; in the latter organism-specific niches were identified. Patients in the youngest age group (16-24 years old) had the highest odds of being infected or colonized with carbapenem-resistant isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp. or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, proportions of carbapenem-resistant organisms differed between the hospitals. Conclusions: Carbapenem resistance is an emerging problem within the UK inpatient healthcare setting. This is not an issue confined to the Enterobacteriaceae and fine-resolution surveillance is needed to identify at-risk groups. Regular analysis of routinely collected data can provide insight into the evolving carbapenem-resistance threat, with the ability to inform efforts to prevent the spread of resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration who fund the Centre for Infection Prevention and Management, the National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre and the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE).


  • Microbiology
  • Resistance
  • Surveillance


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