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Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019 Mar 5;8:48. doi: 10.1186/s13756-019-0497-3. eCollection 2019.

Epidemiological, clinical, and microbiological characteristics of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae bloodstream infection in the Republic of Korea.

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1Department of Infectious Disease, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505 Republic of Korea.
2Department of Healthcare Associated Infection Control, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 187, Osongsaengmyeong 2-ro, Osong-eup, Heungdeok-gu, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 28159 Republic of Korea.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, 59, Daesagwan-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04401 Republic of Korea.
Contributed equally



Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is an important pathogen in nosocomial infections; nevertheless, only a few studies regarding CPE infection and its epidemiological factors have been conducted in the Republic of Korea (ROK). We aimed to analyze the clinical, microbiological, and epidemiological characteristics of CPE bloodstream infections (BSIs) in the ROK.


This retrospective cohort study included data collected from the National Surveillance System from January 2015 to December 2016 based on the epidemiologic survey performed by an epidemiologist from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We selected patients with CPE BSI from the Korea National Institute of Health based on carbapenemase genotyping.


In this study, 131 CPE BSIs were identified, and the proportion of CPE BSI among total CPE isolates was 7%. Klebsiella pneumoniae accounted for 69% of all CPE BSIs, and 66% of these produced K. pneumoniae carbapenemase. Among nine provinces in ROK, one province had NDM as the most common carbapenemase. CPE was susceptible to amikacin, tigecycline, and gentamicin (76, 41, and 39%, respectively). Of 29 patients tested for colistin sensitivity, one patient showed colistin resistance. The most common CPE BSI sources were pneumonia, primary bacteremia, and biliary tract infection. Multivariable analysis showed that adequate antibiotic use at CPE detection was significantly associated with decreased 30-day mortality.


CPE BSIs are prevalent in the ROK. Moreover, most CPE BSIs originated from hospital-acquired infection, demonstrating the need to improve hospital infection control strategies.


Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae; Infection; Klebsiella; Nosocomial infection; Republic of Korea

Conflict of interest statement

JW Park is a medical doctor at Asan Medical Center, Department of Infectious Disease, and worked with epidemic investigation officer in KCDC. LH is medical doctor majored in preventive medicine and the government officer in division of Healthcare Associated Infection Control, KCDC.The study protocol was approved by the institutional review board of the KCDC (2018-04-01-PE-A), and the requirement for written informed consent from patients was waived.Not applicable.I declare that I have no significant competing financial, professional, or personal interests that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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