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Increased carbapenemase testing following implementation of national VA guidelines for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE).

Fitzpatrick MA, Suda KJ, Ramanathan S, Wilson G, Poggensee L, Evans M, Jones MM, Pfeiffer CD, Klutts JS, Perencevich E, Rubin M, Evans CT, QUERI CARRIAGE Program. Increased carbapenemase testing following implementation of national VA guidelines for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Antimicrobial stewardship & healthcare epidemiology : ASHE. 2022 Jun 2; 2(1):e88.

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OBJECTIVE: To describe national trends in testing and detection of carbapenemases produced by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) and associate testing with culture and facility characteristics. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Department of Veterans' Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). PARTICIPANTS: Patients seen at VAMCs between 2013 and 2018 with cultures positive for CRE, defined by national VA guidelines. INTERVENTIONS: Microbiology and clinical data were extracted from national VA data sets. Carbapenemase testing was summarized using descriptive statistics. Characteristics associated with carbapenemase testing were assessed with bivariate analyses. RESULTS: Of 5,778 standard cultures that grew CRE, 1,905 (33.0%) had evidence of molecular or phenotypic carbapenemase testing and 1,603 (84.1%) of these had carbapenemases detected. Among these cultures confirmed as carbapenemase-producing CRE, 1,053 (65.7%) had molecular testing for = 1 gene. Almost all testing included KPC (n = 1,047, 99.4%), with KPC detected in 914 of 1,047 (87.3%) cultures. Testing and detection of other enzymes was less frequent. Carbapenemase testing increased over the study period from 23.5% of CRE cultures in 2013 to 58.9% in 2018. The South US Census region (38.6%) and the Northeast (37.2%) region had the highest proportion of CRE cultures with carbapenemase testing. High complexity (vs low) and urban (vs rural) facilities were significantly associated with carbapenemase testing ( < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Between 2013 and 2018, carbapenemase testing and detection increased in the VA, largely reflecting increased testing and detection of KPC. Surveillance of other carbapenemases is important due to global spread and increasing antibiotic resistance. Efforts supporting the expansion of carbapenemase testing to low-complexity, rural healthcare facilities and standardization of reporting of carbapenemase testing are needed.

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