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Carbapenamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae Screen

Alias: CPE, CPE Screen

Discipline: Clinical Microbiology

Test information: Screening test for the detection of Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae.

Availability: Available locally during routine hours: 08:45 - 21:00.

Specimen Type(s)
  • Faeces;
  • Rectal swab;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Fecon 27mL Clear Polypropylene Container with spoon;
  • Sterile CE-marked Charcoal swab in Transport medium;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • N/A;
  • Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Pre-moisten the sterile swab in liquid transport media in the accompanying transport tube. Insert moistened tip of swab through the anal canal approximately 2.5 cm into the rectum and turn 2-3 times.
  • Ensure faecal matter is visible on the swab.
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory without delay during normal working hours.
  • If transport is delayed store at 2-8 °C.
  • The swab or stool sample must arrive in the laboratory within 48 hours of being taken.
If initial swab is negative, take a further two consecutive samples at 48-hour intervals. Please see Early Detection, Management and Control of Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae Policy on the RCHT document library.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation

Susceptibility Testing:Each susceptibility category is defined by breakpoints specific for each species and agent. The breakpoints are minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and describe the amount of agent required to inhibit the growth of the organism.

The definitions of (S),(I), and (R) emphasize the close relationship between the susceptibility of the organism and the exposure of the organism at the site of infection.

Susceptible (S): High likelihood of therapeutic success with standard dosing.
Susceptible Increased Exposure (I): High likelihood of therapeutic success with increased dosing.
Resistant (R): High likelihood of therapeutic failure.

UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?
Screening should be performed if the patient has:
  • in the last 12 months been an inpatient in a hospital abroad.
  • in the last 12 months been an inpatient in a hospital outside of Cornwall.
  • in the last 12 months has previously been colonised or had an infection with carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae or has been in close contact with a person who has.

All holiday dialysis patients must be screened for CPE as part of their pre-visit screen.
Any local dialysis patients who have attended another dialysis unit must be screened on their return and isolated until the screening results are known.
If the screening test is negative, a further two consecutive swabs must be taken 48 hours apart.

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If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 09-05-2024