Carbapenemase-Producing Organisms (CPO) refers to bacteria such as Klebsiella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Acinetobacter, and Pseudomonas, that are found in normal human intestines. In some parts of the world this group of bacteria have acquired genes that make them resistant to a broad spectrum type of antibiotics including those known as carbapenem antibiotics.
Some common examples of these genes are the New-Delhi Metallobetalactamase (NDM) and Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC). The NDM genes originated in India and Pakistan and are considered common in some health care settings. KPC originated in the US, and is now regularly found in places such as the US, Greece and Asia.
Where is CPO found?
CPOs are found commonly in quite a number of countries in the world. They don’t always cause infections, but often reside in the intestine of people who have become carriers of bacteria with these genetic changes. Infections are most likely acquired through health care exposures in areas where these bacteria are commonly found. These include countries where CPO have been identified in their health care facilities.
The common Enterobacteriaceae (the family of bacteria that includes E. coli, Serratia, Kebsiella and Enterobacter) are found in normal human intestines. When members of this family have become resistant to carbapenam by producing carbepanamase, they have been called carbapenam resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) or carbapenamase producing enterobactieriaceae (CPE). CPOs include the larger group of bacteria, beyond the etnerobacteriaceae family.
Sometimes these bacteria can spread outside the gut and cause serious infections, such as urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, wound infections, and pneumonia. When these normal gut bacteria acquire the characteristics for CPO and spread outside the gut, they can be very difficult to treat. The patient can become susceptible to infections caused by these antibiotic-resistant bacteria.