Limiting the Spread

Tracking Resistance

Improving Stewardship

Developing New Solutions

The costs associated with a nosocomial antibiotic-resistant bacterial outbreak can be substantial, but computing the costs is not always straightforward. Financial burden includes both direct and indirect or opportunity costs, such as reallocated staff time, excess or lost bed utilization, or missed revenue for care that would have been delivered in the absence of an outbreak.

The challenge in estimating these costs was demonstrated in a new study out of the United Kingdom where the costs associated with even a modest carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae outbreak affecting 40 patients during a 10-month period of time had a significant financial impact: €1.1 million ($1.2 million).1 Since outbreaks can result in significant costs, proactive steps, including patient screening with rapid diagnostic tools, could be employed to minimize the impact.

Table 1: Costs Associated With A CRE Outbreak in the United Kingdom

* Relative costs referenced against the least costly parameter, ward-based monitoring

These figures do not take into account costs for facility improvements, legal expenses, the impact on hospital reputation, or the morbidity and mortality associated with an outbreak. Of the 40 patients affected by the outbreak, 16 died, 5 were discharged with end-of-life care plans, 4 required ongoing hemodialysis, 12 required regular outpatient clinic care, and 3 were discharged from the hospital system.

Click here to read the full journal article from Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

1. Otter JA, Burgess P, Davies F, Mookerjee S, et al. Counting the cost of an outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: an economic evaluation from a hospital perspective. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016 Oct 13. pii: S1198-743X(16)30464-5 [Epub ahead of print].

With 48 states now reporting confirmed cases of carbapenemase-producing CRE,1 state health departments from Alaska to Florida have implemented CRE reporting requirements. Many of these guidelines, like those from Illinois, Maryland, and Texas, specifically mention PCR tests for KPC, VIM, IMP, NDM, and OXA-48-like carbapenemase genes as important tools for quickly identifying CRE. States like Oregon also point out that the highly transmissible carbapenemase-producing CRE detected by PCR tests are of particular concern and require an institution’s “most aggressive control measures” when identified. A common theme throughout the reporting regulations is the importance of timeliness in the detection and reporting of CRE, with some states requiring notification in as little as 24 hours.

APIC’s Summary of State CRE Reporting Requirements consolidates guidelines from many of these states into a single resource. What does your state require? Remember to follow the links in the document to access the complete and most up-to-date version of each policy.

Reported cases of carbapenemase-producing CRE as of April 2016.

Source: updated April 2016.

Drug resistance is a complex, fast-changing, global health crisis. To fight it, we need collaboration between antimicrobial resistance surveillance networks and centers to learn which pathogens are adapting and where. We need to track each outbreak and work fast to prevent another.1 Surveillance is key—knowledge is power.


Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries, which have been treatable for decades, can once again kill.”

—World Health Organization, Global Report on Antimicrobial Resistance (2014)


Cepheid provides on-demand testing solutions to help track, manage and reduce the spread of infection.

On-demand PCR tests delivering results in about an hour or less enable real-time monitoring and reporting of pathogens that are critical to infection control and antimicrobial resistance:


1. World Health Organization. “Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance.” June, 2014.

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