Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infections Linked to Flexible Intubation Endoscopes: Recommendations to Prevent Infections

This article investigates whether flexible intubation endoscopes have been associated with infections of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) or related multidrug-resistant bacteria.

While the investigation is limited to flexible intubation endoscopes, it may be useful when considering the risks associated with other types of endoscopes. Duodenoscopes in particular have been a deadly source of biofilms containing multidrug-resistant bacteria, including CRE. In 2017, a manufacturer linked a duodenoscope to a potentially untreatable infection (FDA reports #9610877-2017-00412, and 6753465). This time the K. pneumoniae species found on the duodenoscope contained the dangerous MCR-1 gene, conferring resistance to colistin—truly the last antibiotic available to treat multidrug-resistant bacteria.

About the Author

Lawrence F. Muscarella, PhD
Founder, LFM Healthcare Solutions LLC

Founder of LFM Healthcare Solutions LLC, Lawrence F. Muscarella, PhD, has researched and authored more than 200 articles on the topics of disinfection, sterilization, instrument reprocessing, risk management, infection control and prevention, modes of disease transmission, and factors that pose an increased risk of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), with a focus in the fields of gastrointestinal endoscopy and critical care.

His articles have been published in such peer-reviewed medical journals as: The Journal of Hospital Infection, The American Journal of Infection Control, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Chest, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Endoscopy, and the World Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Recommendations to Prevent Infections