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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Sep;59(9):5574-80. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00425-15. Epub 2015 Jun 29.

Development of a novel real-time PCR assay with high-resolution melt analysis to detect and differentiate OXA-48-Like β-lactamases in carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA


The rapid global spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) poses an urgent threat to public health. More than 250 class D β-lactamases (OXAs) have been described in recent years, with variations in hydrolytic activity for β-lactams. The plasmid-borne OXA-48 β-lactamase and its variants are identified only sporadically in the United States but are common in Europe. Recognition of these OXA-48-like carbapenemases is vital in order to control their dissemination. We developed a real-time PCR assay based on high-resolution melt analysis, using bla OXA-48-like-specific primers coupled with an unlabeled 3'-phosphorylated oligonucleotide probe (LunaProbe) homologous to OXA-48-like carbapenemase genes. The assay was validated using genomic DNA from 48 clinical isolates carrying a variety of carbapenemase genes, including bla KPC, bla SME, bla IMP, bla NDM-1, bla VIM, bla OXA-48, bla OXA-162, bla OXA-181, bla OXA-204, bla OXA-244, bla OXA-245, and bla OXA-232. Our assay identified the presence of bla OXA-48-like β-lactamase genes and clearly distinguished between bla OXA-48 and its variants in control strains, including between bla OXA-181 and bla OXA-232, which differ by only a single base pair in the assay target region. This approach has potential for use in epidemiological investigations and continuous surveillance to help control the spread of CRE strains producing OXA-48-like enzymes.

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