Low Prevalence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae among wounded military personnel

US Army Med Dep J. Jul-Sep 2017;(2-17):12-17.


Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are a global health problem that affect both civilian and military populations. Among wounded warriors, MDROs further complicate the care of trauma-related infections, resulting in extended duration of hospitalization, as well as increased morbidity and mortality. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, extended spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae were frequently isolated from wounded warriors. The potential emergence of difficult-to-treat carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae represented a serious challenge for clinicians. We examined carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae prevalence among wounded military personnel over a 6-year period (2009-2015). Among 4090 Enterobacteriaceae isolates collected, 16 (0.4%) were carbapenem-resistant, of which the majority was Enterobacter aerogenes (44%) followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae (37%), and Escherichia coli (19%). Five isolates (31%) collected from 2 patients were carbapenemase-producers with one associated with an infection. All 5 carbapenemase-producing isolates were resistant to all tested carbapenems and each carried one carbapenemase gene (4 with blaKPC-3 and 1 with blaNDM-1). Overall, although a large number of Enterobacteriaceae isolates were collected, only a small proportion was carbapenem-resistant and data indicate a lack of a cluster. Due to these limited numbers, it is difficult to make any conclusions regarding the association between carbapenem resistance, antibiotic exposure, and clinical outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Afghanistan / epidemiology
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Iraq / epidemiology
  • Military Personnel*
  • Prevalence
  • United States