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J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Jun;51(6):1881-6. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00720-13. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Use of faropenem as an indicator of carbapenemase activity in the Enterobacteriaceae.

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Microbiology Department, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


The aim of this study was to determine the ability of a disc susceptibility test using faropenem (10 μg) to predict carbapenemase activity in Enterobacteriaceae. A collection of 166 isolates of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) and 82 isolates of Enterobacteriaceae that produced other β-lactamases was compiled from diverse sources. Disc susceptibility testing was performed using the CLSI/EUCAST methodology with discs of faropenem (10 μg), temocillin (30 μg), and four carbapenems (each 10 μg). A further prospective evaluation of the faropenem disc susceptibility test was performed using 205 consecutive isolates referred to a United Kingdom reference laboratory in parallel with molecular methods for carbapenemase detection. Of 166 isolates of CPE, 99% showed growth up to the edge of a 10-μg faropenem disc compared with only 6% of other β-lactamase producers (sensitivity, 99%; specificity, 94%). A "double zone" around 10-μg faropenem discs was frequently associated with OXA-48 producers. Of the carbapenems, the most useful agent was imipenem, where a zone diameter of ≤ 23 mm as a predictor of carbapenemase activity had a sensitivity of 99% and a specificity of 85%. The presence of no zone of inhibition around a 30-μg temocillin disc was a consistent feature of strains producing OXA-48 carbapenemase. For 205 isolates of Enterobacteriaceae referred to a United Kingdom reference laboratory, growth up to a 10-μg faropenem disc correctly identified 84 of 86 carbapenemase producers (98% sensitivity), with a specificity of 87%. Disc susceptibility testing using faropenem (10 μg) is a simple, convenient, and highly predictive screening test for carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

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