Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



PLoS One









Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) is of growing concern globally. The risk for transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms across several continents to the Caribbean is a real one given its tourism industry. After a cluster of cases of CRKP were detected, several studies detailed in this report were initiated to better characterize the problem.


A hospital-wide point prevalence study and active surveillance were performed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Barbados in 2013 to assess the prevalence of CRKP infection/colonization. Following this, a 1-year longitudinal study measured the prevalence of CRKP isolates in the hospital and across all healthcare facilities in the country.


In 2013, eleven viable isolates of CRKP from cluster of cases were sent for molecular epidemiology studies. When sequenced, they were found to be the ST-258 clone. Identification of a cluster of cases of CRKP ST-258/512 clones indicated person-to-person transmission. In September 2013, the hospital-wide point prevalence study revealed 18% of patients (53/299) at the hospital were either colonized or infected with CRKP. The infection to colonization ratio was 1:7. Patients who were infected/colonized vs. non-colonized were older (64.7 vs. 48.7 years, p<0.0001), were hospitalized longer (42.5 days vs. 27 days, p = 0.0042), were more likely to have an invasive device (66% vs. 32%, p<0.0001), especially urinary catheters (55% vs. 24%, p<0.0001), and were more likely to have used antimicrobials within the prior 14 days (91% vs. 46%, p<0.0001). Specific antimicrobials, including fluoroquinolones and piperacillin-tazobactam, were significantly associated with infection/colonization. In 2014, the 12-month period prevalence of CRKP in Barbados was 49.6 per 100,000 population and of blood stream infections was 3.2 per 100,000 population.


This point prevalence study identified patients at-risk of acquisition of CRKP and allowed QEH to implement interventions aimed at decreasing the prevalence of CRKP. Organization of a National and regional Infection Prevention and Control Committee in 2014 aimed to strengthen antimicrobial resistance surveillance programs across the English-speaking Caribbean were established.


Reproduced with permission of PLoS ONE.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Included in

Bacteriology Commons