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J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Jun;51(6):1762-8. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00234-13. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Detection of IMP metallo-β-lactamase in carbapenem-nonsusceptible Enterobacteriaceae and non-glucose-fermenting Gram-negative rods by immunochromatography assay.

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Department of Infection Control Science, Faculty of Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan.


Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) are transmissible carbapenemases of increasing prevalence in Gram-negative bacteria among health care facilities worldwide. Control of the further spread of these carbapenem-resistant bacteria relies on clinical microbiological laboratories correctly identifying and classifying the MBLs. In this study, we evaluated a simple and rapid method for detecting IMP, the most prevalent MBL in Japan. We used an immunochromatography (IC) assay for 181 carbapenem-nonsusceptible (CNS) (nonsusceptible to imipenem or meropenem) strains comprising 74 IMP-producing and 33 non-IMP-producing strains of non-glucose-fermenting Gram-negative rods (NFGNR), as well as 64 IMP-producing and 10 non-IMP-producing Enterobacteriaceae strains. The IC assay results were compared to those from the double-disk synergy test (DDST), the MBL Etest, and the modified Hodge test (MHT) (only for Enterobacteriaceae). The IMP type was confirmed by specific PCR and direct sequencing. The IC assay detected all of the IMP-type MBLs, including IMP-1, -2, -6, -7, -10, -11, -19, -20, and -22 and IMP-40, -41, and -42 (new types), with 100% specificity and sensitivity against all strains tested. Although the sensitivity and specificity values for the DDST and MHT were equivalent to those for the IC assay, the MBL Etest was positive for only 87% of NFGNR and 31% of Enterobacteriaceae due to the low MIC of imipenem, causing an indeterminate evaluation. These results indicated that the IC assay might be a useful alternative to PCR for IMP MBL detection screening.

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