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Virulence. 2017 May 19;8(4):470-484. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2017.1292196. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Therapeutic options for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections.

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a Institute of Infectious Diseases, Catholic University of Sacred Heart , Rome , Italy.


In recent years, carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae has dramatically increased and represents an important threat to global health. The optimal therapeutic management of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections has not been established, because to date, no clinical trials have been performed with this objective. We aimed to summarize in the present review data provided by previous observational clinical studies that have investigated the impact of different treatment strategies on the outcome of CRE infections. Most of these studies reported that combination therapy with 2 or more drugs is superior to monotherapy in providing a survival benefit. The use of carbapenems in association with other active drugs is likely ineffective for CRE isolates with carbapenem Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) >8 mg/l. The effectiveness of further therapeutic options for the treatment of extensively or pan-drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections has been reported in vivo and in vitro, although few cases/case series have been reported. Novel antimicrobials that are effective against CRE are urgently needed.


carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae; combination therapy; double-carbapenem combination; monotherapy; mortality

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