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This article is part of the supplement: International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011)

Open Access Poster presentation

Epidemiology of the first outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Saudi Arabia

HH Balkhy12*, A El-Saed1, S Al Johani3, HT Tayeb2, A Al-Qahtani4, M Alahdal4, M Sallah1, A Alothman5 and Y Alarabi6

  • * Corresponding author: HH Balkhy

Author Affiliations

1 Infection Prevention and Control Department, KAMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2 Molecular Department, King Abdullah Internatinal Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

3 Clinical Pathology Department, KAMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

4 King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

5 Department of Medicine, KAMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

6 Department of Critical Care, KAMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):P295  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-P295

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:29 June 2011

© 2011 Balkhy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction / objectives

We describe our experience in detecting and containing the first documented CRKP outbreak in Saudi Arabia (SA).


A prospective investigation of all cases identified with carbapenem resistance during the outbreak peroid and six months prior.


During March 2010, a cluster of 6 patients with CRKP was detected. Patients with CRKP were placed under strict contact isolation. Admission and periodic active surveillance cultures showed a downward trend of CRKP clinical cases over the following months to zeros in July and August. All patients had prolonged hospital stay before CRKP detection and the majority had recent history of carbapenem use (75%), colonization/infection with other MDROs (75%), surgical procedures (80%), indwelling devices (83%), and mechanical ventilation (75%). About 33% of patients with CRKP had clinical infection and 58% died during the current hospitalization. PFGE results identified a dominant clone during the outbreak, Figure 1.


Infection control practices are not enough to eliminate the emergence of resistant pathogens. More active interventional methods including an antimicrobial stewardship program would be essential to combat the emergence of multidrug resistant organisms.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.