Carbapenems are a powerful group of broad spectrum beta-lactam (penicillin-related) antibiotics. In many cases, these are our last effective defence against infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria, such as some strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli.
Resistance to carbapenems has emerged and is beginning to spread. New antibiotics need to be developed to counter bacteria with this type of resistance. Hospitals need good infection control to prevent their spread.
English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) is designed to develop and maintain robust information and surveillance systems to measure antimicrobial utilisation and its impact on resistance and patient safety in England.