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Carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs) such as Enterobacterales and other Carbapenem Resistant-Gram negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii), are considered an urgent threat by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to their ability to spread in healthcare settings and contribute to antibiotic resistance by inactivating carbapenems, one of the most powerful classes of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance makes these organisms very difficult to treat. CPOs often reside in the intestine, but can spread outside the gut and cause serious infections, such as urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, wound infections, and pneumonia.

Since 2014, when PHSKC began tracking CPO, case counts have remained low but a steady increase has been observed. In 2020, 17 CPO cases were identified, relative to a five-year average of 12.6 cases. Increasing case counts may be attributed to more reporting due to heightened awareness, active case finding through screening activities, and enhanced detection though the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network resource established in 2016.