Evaluation of Boronic Acid Disk Tests for Differentiating KPC-Possessing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates in the Clinical Laboratory
AuthorTsakris, A.; Kristo, I.; Poulou, A.; Themeli-Digalaki, K.; Ikonomidis, A.; Petropoulou, D.; Pournaras, S.; Sofianou, D.
The worldwide increase in the occurrence and dissemination of KPC beta-lactamases among gram-negative pathogens makes critical the early detection of these enzymes. Boronic acid disk tests using different antibiotic substrates were evaluated for detection of KPC-possessing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates. A total of 57 genotypically confirmed KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae isolates with varying carbapenem MICs were examined. To measure the specificity of the tests, 106 non-KPC-possessing isolates (89 K. pneumoniae and 17 Escherichia coli isolates) were randomly selected among those exhibiting reduced susceptibility to cefoxitin, expanded-spectrum cephalosporins, or carbapenems. As many as 56, 53, and 40 of the non-KPC- possessing isolates harbored extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, metallo-beta-lactamases, and plasmid-mediated AmpC beta-lactamases, respectively. By use of CLSI methodology and disks containing imipenem, meropenem, or cefepime, either alone or in combination with 400 mu g of boronic acid, all 57 KPC producers gave positive results (sensitivity, 100%) whereas all 106 non-KPC producers were negative (specificity, 100%). The meropenem duplicate disk with or without boronic acid demonstrated the largest differences in inhibition zone diameters between KPC producers and non-KPC producers. By use of disks containing ertapenem, all isolates were correctly differentiated except for five AmpC producers that gave false-positive results (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 95.3%). These practical and simple boronic acid disk tests promise to be very helpful for the accurate differentiation of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae isolates, even in regions where different broad-spectrum beta-lactamases are widespread.