Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) screen
Investigation In response to the increasing numbers of Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), the Microbiology department now screens patients on admission to the Trust if a patient has been:

  1. previously admitted to any hospital (including RLUH), UK or abroad in the last 12 months
  2. been in hospital for 30 days
  3. when a patient has been in contact with another patient who has been found to be a carrier of a CPE.

The screening test is a molecular test (PCR). The PCR detects five of the genes associated with Carbapenemase enzyme production (KPC, OXA-48 like, VIM , NDM, IMP-1)
Inform lab before sending No
Specimen type Rectal swabs in Amies transport medium (purple or white cap). Charcoal swabs and swabs in gel transport media are unsuitable for this test and will not be processed.
Ideal time to take specimen Within 24 hours of admission to the Trust
Labelling requirements click here
How to take the specimen For RLBUHT See Infection Prevention and Control guidelines which can be accessed on the staff intranet via the link ‘bugs’ then ‘CPE’ then CPE screening guide 2016 (RLBUHT).
For AUHT access the Document Management System and search for CPE and access the Screening and Management of Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria & CPE Guideline 2017
Transport to the laboratory If transport is delayed then store at +4°C.
Test times 7 days a week
Turnround Results within 24 hours of receipt

ICE requesting info:ICE panel nameICE page nameColumnComment\Advice
A warning will be given on ICE if a patient has had a CPE PCR test done in the previous 30 days


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