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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 Apr;20(4):345-9. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12322. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

A disc diffusion assay for detection of class A, B and OXA-48 carbapenemases in Enterobacteriaceae using phenyl boronic acid, dipicolinic acid and temocillin.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Class A and B carbapenemases in Enterobacteriaceae may be detected using carbapenemase inhibition tests with boronic acid derivatives (BA) and dipicolinic acid (DPA)/EDTA, respectively. However, for OXA-48 (like) carbapenemases, no specific inhibitor is available. Because OXA-48 confers high-level temocillin resistance, a disc diffusion assay using temocillin as well as BA and DPA inhibition tests was evaluated for detection of class A, B and OXA-48 carbapenemases. The test collection included 128 well-characterized non-repeat Enterobacteriaceae isolates suspected of carbapenemase production; that is, with meropenem MICs ≥ 0.5 mg/L, including 99 carbapenemase producers (36 KPC, one GES, 31 MBL, four KPC plus VIM, 25 OXA-48, two OXA-162), and 29 ESBL and/or AmpC-producing isolates. PCR and sequencing of beta-lactamase genes was used as a reference test. Phenotypic carbapenemase detection was performed with discs (Rosco) containing meropenem (10 μg), temocillin (30 μg), meropenem + phenyl boronic acid (PBA), meropenem + DPA, meropenem + BA + DPA, and meropenem + cloxacillin (CL). Absence of synergy between meropenem and BA and/or DPA and a temocillin zone ≤10 mm was used to identify OXA-48. The sensitivity for identification of class A, B and OXA-48 carbapenemases was 95%, 90% and 100%, with 96-100% specificity. In non-Proteus species, the sensitivity for class B carbapenemase detection was 97%. All isolates without PBA or DPA synergy and a temocillin disc zone ≤10 mm were OXA-48 (like) positive. In conclusion, carbapenemase inhibition tests with PBA and DPA combined with a temocillin disc provide a reliable phenotypic confirmation method for class A, B and OXA-48 carbapenemases in Enterobacteriaceae.


Boronic acid; Enterobacteriaceae; KPC; MBL; OXA-48; carbapenemase; dipicolinic acid; temocillin

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