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National and regional carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) surveillance is essential to understand the burden of antimicrobial resistance, elucidate outbreaks, and develop infection-control or antimicrobial-treatment recommendations.


This study aimed to describe CPE and their epidemiology in Norway from 2015 to 2021.


A nationwide, population-based observational study of all verified clinical and carriage CPE isolates submitted to the national reference laboratory was conducted. Isolates were characterised by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, whole genome sequencing (WGS) and basic metadata. Annual CPE incidences were also estimated.


A total of 389 CPE isolates were identified from 332 patients of 63 years median age (range: 0–98). These corresponded to 341 cases, 184 (54%) being male. Between 2015 and 2021, the annual incidence of CPE cases increased from 0.6 to 1.1 per 100,000 person-years. For CPE-isolates with available data on colonisation/infection, 58% (226/389) were associated with colonisation and 38% (149/389) with clinical infections. WGS revealed a predominance of OXA-48-like (51%; 198/389) and NDM (34%; 134/389) carbapenemases in a diversified population of and , including high-risk clones also detected globally. Most CPE isolates were travel-related (63%; 245/389). Although local outbreaks and healthcare-associated transmission occurred, no interregional spread was detected. Nevertheless, 18% (70/389) of isolates not directly related to import points towards potentially unidentified transmission routes. A decline in travel-associated cases was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The close-to-doubling of CPE case incidence between 2015 and 2021 was associated with foreign travel and genomic diversity. To limit further transmission and outbreaks, continued screening and monitoring is essential.


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