What Is CPE in Medical Terms?

What is CPE in medical terms? Does it differ much from what's common knowledge about this infection?

If you've ever heard of CPE, you might already know it's capable of causing a serious infection. This can happen in the blood, bladder, body, or kidney tissues.

But what is CPE in medical terms? And what are the symptoms?

Keep reading to learn more about CPE and the answers to related questions now.

What is a CPE Infection?

CPE, or Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacterales, is a type of bacteria that produces an enzyme called carbapenemase. This enzyme can make certain antibiotics (including carbapenems) ineffective against the bacteria.

CPE is often found in hospitals and long-term care facilities, because it can cause serious infections in people who are already ill or have weak immune systems. CPE can be spread from person to person, or through contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment.

If you have a CPE infection, you may need to be treated with antibiotics that are not affected by carbapenemase. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove the infected tissue.

While CPE isn't very common, CPE bugs are commonly found in hospitals. However, most of the time, it's nearly impossible to determine where it was caught.

CPE Medical Diagnosis Explained

If you've been diagnosed with CPE, it's not always a serious problem. More often than not, CPE aren't capable of causing damage or infection. This is because if they remain in your gut, you won't get sick.

Keep in mind, if CPE gets into your blood, bladder, body, or kidney tissues, it can result in a serious infection. However, it's possible to prevent picking up and spreading CPE.

If you're worried about getting a CPE medical diagnosis and want to avoid CPE as much as possible, here's what you should do:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
  • Avoid sharing food and other personal items, such as towels, razors, and toothbrushes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with CPE, such as doorknobs, countertops, and light switches.
  • Wear gloves when cleaning or coming into contact with anything that may be contaminated with CPE.
  • Limit contact with hospital patients and stay away from patient bedding.

If you think you may have been exposed to CPE, see a doctor right away. They can do a test to see if you have the infection.

CPE Symptoms

Think you might have CPE? Here's a list of the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Aches and pains
  • Elevated temperature
  • Confusion
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

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If you have any of these symptoms and think you may have CPE, see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to avoid serious complications.

Is CPE Infection Contagious?

Healthy people have very little risk of CPE infection. This includes healthy children and pregnant women. However, some of the risk factors that increase one's risk of CPE infection include:

  • Cancer treatment
  • Major surgery
  • Getting treatment in a transplant ward or intensive care unit
  • Getting a medical device – like an IV line or catheter – placed in your body


What does CPE stand for in healthcare?

CPE in healthcare stands for Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacterales, which is a type of bacteria that produces an enzyme called carbapenemase. This enzyme can make certain antibiotics (including carbapenems) ineffective against the bacteria.

What is CPE for medical visit?

Unlike Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacterales, CPE for a medical visit stands for Complete Physical Exam. This is a non-covered service, meaning the patient will be responsible for covering the payment out of pocket. As a service, the provider will complete a head to toe exam on the patient.

What does CPE positive mean?

If you're CPE positive, this means you have these bacteria in your body. However, this does not mean you've been infected. Doctors might begin antibiotics to treat a CPE infection if you're showing symptoms. However, you might not have an infection if you're CPE positive.

Is CPE serious?

While CPE can become serious, most of the time, CPE are harmless. They don't always cause infection and if they don't leave your gut, you will not get sick.