Reporting Carbapenem Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA)

About Carbapenem Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA)

On this page:
About CRPA
People most at risk
Preventing antibiotic resistance
More about antibiotic resistance

  • P. aeruginosa causes an estimated 51,000 health care-associated infections in the U.S. annually
  • P. aeruginosa causes a variety of infections including pneumonia, bloodstream, surgical site, and urinary tract infections.
  • The carbapenem class of antibiotics includes meropenem, imipenem, ertapenem, and doripenem. These antibiotics are often used as the last line of treatment for infections caused by resistant Gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • P. aeruginosa can carry genes encoding carbapenemases.
    • These carbapenemases are encoded on mobile genetic elements that can be transferred between strains and across bacterial species, making them a serious public health threat due to the potential for rapid, widespread dissemination.
  • Reports of carbapenemase-producing CRPA are increasing


  • In 2001, an isolate producing a Verona Integron-Mediated (VIM) metallo-beta-lactamase was the first carbapenemase-producing P. aeruginosa reported in the United States. 
  • CRPA producing the active-on-imipenem (IMP) metallo-beta-lactamase, the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), and the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) have since been reported.


  • In health care settings, CRPA can easily spread from one patient to another on the hands of health care personnel or through contact with contaminated surfaces and patient care equipment. These bacteria are not spread through the air.

People most at risk

  • Infections caused by CRPA most commonly occur in people who have:
    • Chronic medical conditions.
    • Recent frequent or prolonged stays in health care settings.
    • Invasive medical devices such as ventilators or intravenous catheters.
    • Wounds from surgery or burns.
    • History of taking certain antibiotics for long periods of time.
    • Healthy people can develop mild illnesses, such as ear infections and skin rashes, especially after exposure to water.

Preventing antibiotic resistance

  • You can help prevent the development and spread of drug-resistant bacteria by:
    • Using antibiotics only when your health care provider prescribes them and always taking all the medicine that is prescribed.
    • Never asking for antibiotics for a viral infection such as a cold.
    • Never letting anyone take leftover antibiotics or a prescription that was used by someone else in your household.
    • Washing your hands thoroughly to help prevent the spread of infections.

More about antimicrobial resistance

Updated Friday, 16-Jul-2021 09:48:54 CDT