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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Oct;55(10):4707-11. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00112-11. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Carbapenem susceptibility testing errors using three automated systems, disk diffusion, Etest, and broth microdilution and carbapenem resistance genes in isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex.

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LTC, MC, USA, Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3551 Roger Brooke Drive, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA.

Erratum in

  • Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Feb;56(2):1149.


The Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (ABC) is associated with increasing carbapenem resistance, necessitating accurate resistance testing to maximize therapeutic options. We determined the accuracy of carbapenem antimicrobial susceptibility tests for ABC isolates and surveyed them for genetic determinants of carbapenem resistance. A total of 107 single-patient ABC isolates from blood and wound infections from 2006 to 2008 were evaluated. MICs of imipenem, meropenem, and doripenem determined by broth microdilution (BMD) were compared to results obtained by disk diffusion, Etest, and automated methods (the MicroScan, Phoenix, and Vitek 2 systems). Discordant results were categorized as very major errors (VME), major errors (ME), and minor errors (mE). DNA sequences encoding OXA beta-lactamase enzymes (bla(OXA-23-like), bla(OXA-24-like), bla(OXA-58-like), and bla(OXA-51-like)) and metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) (IMP, VIM, and SIM1) were identified by PCR, as was the KPC2 carbapenemase gene. Imipenem was more active than meropenem and doripenem. The percentage of susceptibility was 37.4% for imipenem, 35.5% for meropenem, and 3.7% for doripenem. Manual methods were more accurate than automated methods. bla(OXA-23-like) and bla(OXA-24-like) were the primary resistance genes found. bla(OXA-58-like), MBLs, and KPC2 were not present. Both automated testing and manual testing for susceptibility to doripenem were very inaccurate, with VME rates ranging between 2.8 and 30.8%. International variability in carbapenem breakpoints and the absence of CLSI breakpoints for doripenem present a challenge in susceptibility testing.

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