Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacterales (CPE) is the newest in a long line of 'superbugs' (bacteria that are hard to kill with antibiotics).
Of all the superbugs, CPE is the most difficult to kill with antibiotics.
CPE in Ireland
Many cases of CPE has been reported throughout the world in recent years. Ireland has seen an increase in the number of cases year on year. The number of cases almost doubled in 2016 to 280 cases and is estimated to increase by a third in 2017.
The Minister for Health highlighted the rapid and worrying increase in the incidence of CPE in Ireland, with a significant growth in numbers of cases. Outbreaks have occurred in 8 healthcare facilities resulting in high costs and bed closures. International experience indicates that CPE and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) need to be tackled at a national level. The Minister declared the issues as a public health emergency on 24th October and convened the National Public Health Emergency Team and activated the National Public Health Emergency Plan.
CPE and Irish hospitals
The spread of this superbug in hospitals can lead to the closure of beds, wards and units which reduces the health service and the hospital's ability to admit patients from Emergency Departments, provide services and to reduce waiting lists.
Guidelines and information are available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
- Requirements for screening of Patients for Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) 1 in the Acute Hospital Sector April 2019
- Guidance for community healthcare workers caring for people colonised or infected with antimicrobial resistant organisms including CPE April 2019
- A Guide to Treatment of Infection with Carbapenem Resistant Organisms April 2019
- Environmental Testing for carbapenemase producing enterobacterales
- Fact sheet 7: Patients who are CPE contacts, their families and carers
- Interventions for Control of Transmission of CPE in the Acute Hospital Sector
- Assessing Evidence of Transmission and End of Transmission of Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacterales (CPE)
- Assessing Evidence of CPE Transmission in Acute Hospitals or other Facility Providing a Similar Intensity of Care
- Interfacility Transfer of Patients Colonised or Infected with AMRO including CPE Provisional Guidance
- Guidance relating to Carbapenemase producing enterobacterales CPE for Longterm Care Facilities for Older People .pdf (size 133.3 KB)
- Provisional Guidance relating to CPE for General Practice
- Fact sheet 1: Healthcare associated infections (HCAI) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) (for patients, relatives and healthcare workers)
- Fact sheet 2: CPE general information and background (for patients, relatives and healthcare workers)
- Fact sheet 3: CPE information (for healthcare workers)
- Fact sheet 4: Information for patients carrying CPE (for patients, families and healthcare staff caring for patients with CPE)
- Fact sheet 5: How to manage CPE when you are at home (for patients, families and community-based healthcare staff caring for patients with CPE)
- Fact sheet 6: Superbugs (for patients, relatives and healthcare workers)
- CPE: Understanding the Public Health Emergency - a presentation by Martin Cormican, January 2018 (PDF, 748 KB)
- Video of Professor Martin Cormican delivering the Understanding CPE presentation
- Guide to prioritisation of Patients for single room isolation