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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Jan;67(1):159-66. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkr400. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Comparison of European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) and CLSI screening parameters for the detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamase production in clinical Enterobacteriaceae isolates.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Universität Zürich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland.



To compare the performance of European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) and CLSI breakpoints following their revision in 2010, for the detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production in Enterobacteriaceae.


236 well-characterized clinical isolates (including 118 ESBL producers) were investigated by antibiotic disc testing with cefpodoxime, ceftriaxone, cefepime, cefotaxime EUCAST (5 μg/disc), ceftazidime EUCAST (10 μg/disc), cefotaxime CLSI (30 μg/disc) and ceftazidime CLSI (30 μg/disc) with the Kirby-Bauer method. Additionally, synergy phenomena were recorded between amoxicillin/clavulanic acid discs (20/10 μg/disc) and cefepime (30 μg/disc), EUCAST cefotaxime (5 μg/disc), EUCAST ceftazidime (10 μg/disc), CLSI cefotaxime (30 μg/disc) and CLSI ceftazidime [30 μg/disc; disc approximation method (DAM)].


Overall sensitivity of the cefotaxime EUCAST non-susceptible breakpoint equalled sensitivity of the cefotaxime CLSI ESBL screening breakpoint (99.2%). With the ceftazidime EUCAST non-susceptible breakpoint, 27/118 ESBL-producing isolates were not detected, whereas the ceftazidime CLSI ESBL screening breakpoint missed 41/118 ESBL-producing isolates. For cefpodoxime the resistant EUCAST breakpoint showed higher sensitivity for ESBL detection compared with the CLSI ESBL screening breakpoint/disc content (100% versus 98.3%, respectively). Sensitivities of ceftazidime and cefotaxime DAM with CLSI or EUCAST disc contents were comparable (sensitivities ranging from 84.7% to 89.8%). DAM with cefepime displayed the highest overall sensitivity (96.6%). In AmpC-producing isolates, synergy of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid with cefepime showed sensitivity and specificity for ESBL detection of 100% and 97.4%, respectively.


EUCAST non-susceptible breakpoints for ceftazidime and cefpodoxime detect more ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates compared with corresponding CLSI ESBL screening breakpoints. Implementation of the cefepime DAM can facilitate ESBL screening, especially in strains producing an AmpC β-lactamase since the test shows high sensitivity and specificity.

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