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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Apr;67(4):906-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkr563. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Rapid detection of carbapenemase genes by multiplex real-time PCR.

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Esoteric Testing Laboratory, Pathology Department, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA.



To develop a single multiplex real-time PCR assay to detect six different genetic types of carbapenemases already identified in Enterobacteriaceae (KPC, GES, NDM, IMP, VIM and OXA-48).


A total of 58 bacterial isolates were tested. Thirty were previously characterized as resistant to carbapenems and documented by PCR and sequencing analysis to carry the following genes: bla(KPC) type, bla(GES) type, bla(IMP) type, bla(VIM) type, bla(OXA-48) and bla(NDM-1). These positive strains included 21 Enterobacteriaceae, 1 Acinetobacter baumannii and 8 Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. The remaining 28 isolates previously tested susceptible to carbapenems and were negative for these genes. Bacterial DNA was extracted using the easyMag extractor (bioMérieux, France). The real-time PCR was performed using the Rotor-Gene 6000 instrument (Corbett Life Science, Australia) and specific primers for each carbapenemase target were designed using the DNAStar software (Madison, WI, USA).


Each one of the six carbapenemase genes tested presented a different melting curve after PCR amplification. The melting temperature (T(m)) analysis of the amplicons identified was as follows: bla(IMP) type (T(m) 80.1°C), bla(OXA-48) (T(m) 81.6°C), bla(NDM-1) (T(m) 84°C), bla(GES) type (T(m) 88.6°C), bla(VIM) type (T(m) 90.3°C) and bla(KPC) type (T(m) 91.6°C). No amplification was detected among the negative samples. The results showed 100% concordance with the genotypes previously identified.


The new assay was able to detect the presence of six different carbapenemase gene types in a single 3 h PCR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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