Acquisition of highly resistant organisms during travel is common and subsequent infections may not respond to usual antibiotic therapy. Obtaining clinical samples from patients with symptoms of bacterial infection who have recently travelled overseas is essential.
Multidrug-resistant bacteria are a growing global public health threat.1 The resistant Gram-positive organisms methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci have been circulating in Australia for more than a decade. More recently, resistance among Gram-negative bacteria including Neisseria gonorrhoea and Enterobacteriaceae (such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) have become of greater concern. In this article, we will focus on multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (MDRE), which are important because strains with very limited antimicrobial susceptibilities are now present in Australia and are increasingly reported as a cause of community-acquired infections.