(CRE) have become a public health threat worldwide. There are three major mechanisms by which Enterobacteriaceae
become resistant to carbapenems: enzyme production, efflux pumps and porin mutations. Of these, enzyme production is the main resistance mechanism. There are three main groups of enzymes responsible for most of the carbapenem resistance: KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae
carbapenemase) (Ambler class A), MBLs (Metallo-ß-Lactamases) (Ambler class B) and OXA-48-like (Ambler class D). KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae
are endemic in the United States, Colombia, Argentina, Greece and Italy. On the other hand, the MBL NDM-1 is the main carbapenemase-producing resistance in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while OXA-48-like enzyme-producers are endemic in Turkey, Malta, the Middle-East and North Africa. All three groups of enzymes are plasmid-mediated, which implies an easier horizontal transfer and, thus, faster spread of carbapenem resistance worldwide. As a result, there is an urgent need to develop new therapeutic guidelines to treat CRE infections. Bearing in mind the different mechanisms by which Enterobacteriaceae
can become resistant to carbapenems, there are different approaches to treat infections caused by these bacteria, which include the repurposing of already existing antibiotics, dual therapies with these antibiotics, and the development of new ß-lactamase inhibitors and antibiotics.
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