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J Clin Microbiol. 2002 May;40(5):1743-8.

Comparative evaluation of the BD Phoenix and VITEK 2 automated instruments for identification of isolates of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.

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Eijkman-Winkler Institute, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 100, AZU G04.614, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.


We evaluated two new automated identification systems, the BD Phoenix (Becton Dickinson) and the VITEK 2 (bioMérieux), for identification of isolates of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC). The test sample included 42 isolates of the highly virulent and epidemic genomovar III, 45 isolates of B. multivorans, and 47 isolates of other members of the BCC. Rates of correct identification by the BD Phoenix and VITEK 2 were similar when all BCC isolates were considered (50 and 53%, respectively) but differed markedly for genomovar III (71 and 38%; P < 0.01) and for B. multivorans (58 and 89%; P < 0.001). For the BD Phoenix as well as the VITEK 2, taking all 134 isolates of the BCC together, rates of correct identification of clinical isolates (56 and 55%, respectively; n = 85) were higher than those of environmental isolates (21 and 39%, respectively; n = 28). Clinical isolates of genomovar III (n = 27) showed correct identification rates of 81% (BD Phoenix) and 48% (VITEK 2) (P < 0.01). Rates of misidentification for BD Phoenix and VITEK 2 were 9 and 17% for genomovar III, 22 and 7% for B. multivorans, and 36 and 13% for the other BCC members (P < 0.01), respectively. More than half of the isolates misidentified by each instrument were identified as Ralstonia pickettii, Ralstonia paucula (CDC IV C-2 group), Alcaligenes faecalis, Achromobacter spp., or, for the VITEK 2, "various nonfermenters." This study reemphasizes that confirmatory identification of BCC, preferably by molecular methods, is highly recommended.

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