car·​ba·​pen·​em | \ ˌkär-bə-ˈpe-nəm \

Definition of carbapenem

: any of a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics (such as imipenem) resistant to hydrolysis by beta-lactamase Another class of antibiotics, carbapenems, is used as an antibiotic of last resort for the most persistent infections.— Nicholas Bakalar

Examples of carbapenem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), which can be fatal in up to half of patients, has made addressing these problems more urgent. Chad Terhune,, "Hospitals and device makers still struggle to rid medical scopes of infectious bacteria," 23 Apr. 2018 The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), which can be fatal in up to half of patients, has made addressing these problems more urgent. Chad Terhune, Washington Post, "Study: Nearly Three-Quarters Of Commonly Used Medical Scopes Tainted By Bacteria," 23 Apr. 2018 Last year, public health labs around the country were asked to watch for and quickly respond to cases of advanced antibiotic resistance, especially to some last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems. Washington Post, "CDC: Drug-resistant ‘nightmare bacteria’ pose growing threat," 3 Apr. 2018 The report estimates that if implemented correctly, the strategy could prevent 1,600 cases of superbug carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in one state over a three-year period. Ashley Welch, CBS News, "Antibiotic resistant "nightmare bacteria" a growing threat in the U.S., CDC warns," 3 Apr. 2018 The bug involved was carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. NBC News, "Hospital plumbing a 'vast, resilient reservoir' of superbugs," 6 Feb. 2018 Some bacteria have recently developed a resistance even to carbapenems, and there is little else doctors can do once someone is exposed to them. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "WHO Ranks the World's Most Dangerous Bacteria," 27 Feb. 2017 Among patients in hospitals and health care settings, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae — or CRE infections — were drug resistant. Susan Abram, The Mercury News, "Rare E. coli ‘superbug’ found in California," 1 Feb. 2017 The same E. coli strain also possessed a second gene that confers resistance to carbapenems, the second most crucial category of last-resort antibiotics. National Geographic, "Newest Superbug Has Been in U.S. Longer Than Thought," 30 Aug. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carbapenem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carbapenem

1979, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of carbapenem was in 1979

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More Definitions for carbapenem


car·​ba·​pen·​em | \ ˌkär-bə-ˈpe-nəm \

Medical Definition of carbapenem

: any of a class of broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics (such as imipenem) having a five-membered ring system similar to the penicillins but containing a carbon atom instead of a sulfur atom It rendered the Klebsiella, which was already resistant to many antibiotics used in critical care medicine, insensitive to the only remaining group that worked reliably and safely—the carbapenems, the so-called drugs of last resort.— Maryn McKenna, Scientific American, April 2011

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