What are Enterobacteriaceae?
Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of Gram-negative bacteria that includes a number of pathogens such as Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Proteus, Serratia and other species. These pathogens are present in the human intestinal tract and are a normal part of the gut flora. They are a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs), and some species can also cause diarrhoea. These pathogens can spread to the bloodstream resulting in life-threatening complications. Enterobacteriaceae, like all bacteria, can develop resistance to antibiotics, including the carbapenem group of antibiotics, which are sometimes referred to as the last line of antibiotic treatment against resistant organisms. Refer to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). These pathogens can also cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).