Use of the cefepime-clavulanate ESBL Etest for detection of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in AmpC co-producing bacteria

Srujana Mohanty, Rajni Gaind, Rajeev Ranjan, Monorama Deb
Journal of Infection in Developing Countries 2010, 4 (1): 24-9

BACKGROUND: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) may not always be detected in routine susceptibility tests. This study reports the performance of the cefepime-clavulanate ESBL Etest for the detection of ESBLs in Enterobacteriaceae, including those producing AmpC enzyme.

METHODOLOGY: Consecutive non-duplicate isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Proteus mirabilis isolated from bloodstream infections from January to June 2008 were tested for ESBL by both the standard CLSI double-disk diffusion method using ceftazidime and cefotaxime disks and Etests using ceftazidime/ceftazidime-clavulanate, cefotaxime/cefotaxime-clavulanate and cefepime/cefepime-clavulanate gradients. Isolates were also tested for the presence of transferable AmpC beta-lactamase by AmpC disk test and the efficacies of the different Etests in detecting ESBL production were compared.

RESULTS: A total of 113 bacterial isolates (61 K. pneumoniae, 50 E. coli, and 2 P. mirabilis) were recovered. Respectively, 42 (37.2%) and 55 (48.7%) isolates were positive for ESBL by the ceftazidime-clavulanate and cefotaxime-clavulanate combined disk tests. The cefepime/cefepime-clavulanate Etest strip detected the maximum number of isolates (70/113, 61.9 %) as ESBL-positive compared to the ceftazidime/ceftazidime-clavulanate and cefotaxime/cefotaxime-clavulanate strips, which detected 57 (50.4%) isolates each as ESBL-positive. All three ESBL Etest strips were equally effective in detecting ESBL in the isolates that were AmpC negative. In the 66 (58.4%) isolates that co-produced AmpC in addition to the ESBL enzymes, cefepime/cefepime-clavulanate Etest strip detected ESBL in an additional 13 (11.4%) isolates as compared to the other ESBL Etest strips.

CONCLUSIONS: Cefepime-clavulanate ESBL Etest is a suitable substitute to test for ESBL production, especially in organisms producing AmpC beta-lactamases.

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