Breakpoint beware: reliance on historical breakpoints for Enterobacteriaceae leads to discrepancies in interpretation of susceptibility testing for carbapenems and cephalosporins and gaps in detection of carbapenem-resistant organisms

Melanie L. Yarbrough, Meghan A. Wallace, Robert F. Potter, Alaric W. D’Souza, Gautam Dantas, Carey Ann D. Burnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are an important public health and infection prevention threat. CRE are typically detected via phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST), for which interpretive standards were modified in recent years. Our objective was to measure the impact of breakpoint changes on AST interpretation for CRE. Zone sizes from disk diffusion AST for Enterobacteriaceae isolates recovered from clinical cultures over a 1-year period (n = 10,183) and CRE from clinical and environmental sources from the USA and Pakistan (n = 342) were evaluated. Results were interpreted according to historical (CLSI M100-S19) and current (CLSI M100-S29) breakpoints. Interpretive errors were calculated according to the FDA definitions. Using current breakpoints as the reference standard, 56 (17%) very major (false susceptibility) errors occurred for cefepime and 13 (45%) very major errors for meropenem interpretation using historical breakpoints in clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, corresponding to 12 carbapenemase-producing CRE that would have been missed during the 1-year period. For confirmed blaKPC CP-CRE clinical and environmental isolates (n = 149), the very major error rate for historic breakpoints was 8%, 30%, 63%, and 0% for cefepime, meropenem, imipenem, and ertapenem, respectively. For blaKPC isolates, the use of historical breakpoints would have led to 42 (28%) reports of false susceptibility to meropenem. Failure to adopt updated AST breakpoints may lead to reports of false susceptibility for antimicrobials commonly used to treat Gram-negative infections and preclude recognition of CRE. Such errors could negatively impact patient care and hamper infection control and public health efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Breakpoint
  • Carbapenemase-producing CRE
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • KPC

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