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The CARs that ate hospitals

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The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released its latest six-monthly report for the National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance (CARAlert) system, which shows the continuing threat of antimicrobial resistance by dangerous bacteria.

The two key findings in the report highlight the prevalence of Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae or CPE (in the hospital setting) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (in the community).

The report found that:

  • Continued volume of CPE reports (255 in 6 months to 31 March) highlight the importance of effective infection prevention and control to help combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
  • For the first time, two extensively drug-resistant gonorrhoeae infections have been reported in Australia, following a report in the United Kingdom of a similar strain.
  • 653 CARs were reported by 58 participating laboratories between October 2017 and 31 March 2018 – a similar number to same period in previous year.
  • 48 per cent of CARs were detected from patients attending hospitals.

The report is at www.safetyandquality.gov.au/antimicrobial-use-and-resistance-in-australia/what-is-aura/national-alert-system-for-critical-antimicrobial-resistances-caralert/