Carbaplex® IVD PCR: When Time Matters

Managing carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are a global public health risk. The genes coding for carbapenemases are readily transmissible in healthcare environments and cause outbreaks. To combat the spread of these genes requires rapid identification of carriers and robust infection control and prevention procedures. Carbaplex enables the rapid identification of CPE colonised patients; allowing the efficient use of healthcare resources and appropriate patient management.

Clinical problem

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are an urgent public health risk. These organisms are resistant to the carbapenem class of antibiotics, which are often considered the ‘last-line’ of therapy for treating multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. CPEs are a serious healthcare problem:

  • Carbapenemase genes are readily transmissible from colonised patients, leading to outbreaks in healthcare settings
  • Carbapenem resistance greatly restricts treatment options for patients infected with CPE, and is associated with longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality
  • CPE outbreaks are expensive¹
  • ECDC recommends rectal screening with presumptive isolation for patients who are considered at high-risk of carrying a CPE²
  • Fast diagnostic turnaround time and communication to the infection control team is a key component of controlling the spread of CPE²


1. A. Otter et al. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2017, 23 (3), 188-196. Counting the cost of an outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: an economic evaluation from a hospital perspective, DOI:

2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Evidence brief: Update on the spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Europe – Summary of the May 2015 expert assessment. Stockholm: ECDC; 2015.

Molecular identification of five carbapenemase gene families

Carbaplex is a multiplex real-time PCR assay for rapidly identifying patients carrying CPEs, detecting and differentiating the five most prevalent carbapenemase genes from a single sample:

  • OXA-48-like (including OXA-181)
  • KPC
  • NDM
  • VIM
  • IMP


For the confirmation of carbapenemase activity, the STAR-Carba assay is available, which runs on the MALDI Biotyper IVD.

Routine samples

Carbaplex is suitable for use in high-throughput testing scenarios using DNA extracted from rectal swabs, or for confirmation testing of suspected isolates

Fast diagnostic turnaround

Carbaplex provides results in under 3 hours, compared with days for culture-based screening approaches. Helping the laboratory to rapidly inform the infection control team when time matters.


Carbaplex is provided in an easy to use master-mix format and is designed to be compatible with existing laboratory equipment, minimising the need for dedicated bench space or additional training:

  • ABI 7500
  • ABI QuantStudio 5
  • Bio-Rad CFX
  • Hain FluoroCycler XT
  • Mic qPCR Cycler
  • Qiagen RotorGene

 Please contact us to discuss validating Carbaplex on your thermocycler if it is not listed.