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Current promising antibiotics and future approaches in combating carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae
1, 2 , 3 , * 2, 3 , 2, 3 , 4 , 2, 3
1  University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology, Microbiology-Immunology Department
2  The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
3  University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology, Microbiology Immunology Department
4  Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


Carbapenem-resistant (CR) Gram-negative bacilli, including Enterobacteriaceae and the non-fermenters, represent the most notorious pathogens due to the high incidence of morbidity and mortality, especiallyin immunocompromised patients in intensive care units. Carbapenem resistance is mainly associated with the production of carbapenemases,which are β-lactamases belonging to different Ambler classes (A, B, D) that can be encoded by both chromosomal and plasmid-mediated genes. These enzymes represent the most potent β-lactamases, hydrolyzing a widevariety of β-lactams, including carbapenems, cephalosporins, penicillin, and aztreonam. The major issues associated with carbapenemases production are both clinical, posing significant challenges in the treatment of healthcare-associated infections by compromising the activity of the last-resort antibiotics, and epidemiological, due to their dissemination across almost all geographic regions. An important advancement is a handful of recently launched new antibiotics targeting some of the current most problematic Gram-negative pathogens, namely carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The most appropriate antimicrobial therapy to treat CRE infections is still controversial. Combination therapy is preferred over monotherapy due to its broad-spectrum coverage, synergic activity, and low probability of selectingfor resistance. In this mini-review, current and future promising antibiotics that are currently under investigation for winning the war against the emerging CRE are discussed.

Keywords: carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae(CRE), carbapenamases; multi-drug resistance; novel antibiotics