Skip to Content

Cre (carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae)


Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

are a group of bacteria that are very difficult to kill when they cause infection. Examples include E coli and klebsiella. CRE often cause lung, urinary tract, wound, and blood infections. Carbapenems are a group of antibiotics that treat bacterial infections. In CRE infections, the bacteria release chemicals that prevent carbapenems from killing them. This is called antibiotic resistance. CRE infections can become difficult to cure and can spread to other parts of the body. CRE infections that get into the blood can be life-threatening.

Signs and symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of CRE infection depend on what body part is infected. You may have any of the following:

  • Fever and chills
  • Little or no energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cough or difficulty breathing
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • A rash or red, swollen skin with pus

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have a wound that is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have had contact with someone with a CRE infection.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


may depend on whether or not CRE has caused an infection. You will not need treatment if you have CRE in your body but are not infected. If CRE is causing an infection, you may need antibiotics to treat the infection. Surgery or other procedures may be needed to drain an abscess or remove infected tissue.

Prevent the spread of CRE:

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have been hospitalized in another hospital or country. This may tell your healthcare provider if you are at risk for CRE and help you get early treatment for infections.
  • Take antibiotics as directed. Do not take antibiotics when you do not need them. Do not share antibiotics or take other people's antibiotic medicine. Overuse of antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your gut, and increase your risk for CRE. You could also spread CRE to others.
  • Wash your hands often. This includes the following:
    • Before you prepare or eat food
    • Before and after you change wound bandages
    • After you use the bathroom
    • After you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cre (carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae) (Ambulatory Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes