Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) infection control

Enterobacterales are a type of Gram-negative bacteria (germ) which normally live in our bowel. In some people these bacteria carry a carbapenemase gene, making the bacteria more resistant to a large number of antibiotics including a class of antibiotics called carbapenems. These resistant bacteria are called Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales# (CPE).

Carbapenems are antibiotics that are used as a last resort when patients have serious infections that are resistant to most other treatments. CPE can live harmlessly in the bowel but can cause infection if introduced into normally sterile sites such as the bladder or blood.


CPE is a notifiable disease in South Australia; refer to notifiable disease reporting web page for information on the notifiable process.

Screening and alerting recommendations for CPE contacts

To standardise screening practices the SA Health CPE admission screening flowchart (PD 208KB) has been developed to align with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Recommendations for the control of CPE, 2021.

Patient management

The SA Health CPE patient management quick reference guide (PDF 208KB) provides general information for acute healthcare facilities (HCF) and residential care facilities (RCF) regarding the infection prevention and control (IP&C) actions and management of patient/residents identified as having CPE colonisation or infection.

However, as this guide is not a full guideline for management of patients/residents with CPE, also refer to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Recommendations for the control of CPE (2021 CPE Guide) as well as state and local policies.

Consumer information

Refer to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) CPE: Information for patients fact sheet.

Further information

For further information on prevention of healthcare associated infection, contact SA Health's Infection Control Service.

# previously known as Carbapenemase-producing Enterbacteriaceae