Carbapenemase detection among carbapenem-resistant glucose-nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli

Patricia J. Simner, Belita N.A. Opene, Krizia K. Chambers, Matthew E. Naumann, Karen C. Carroll, Pranita D. Tamma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate detection of carbapenemase-producing glucose-nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli (CPNFs), including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii, is necessary to prevent their dissemination within health care settings. We performed a method comparison study of 11 phenotypic carbapenemase detection assays to evaluate their accuracy for the detection of CPNFs. A total of 96 carbapenem-resistant glucose-nonfermenting isolates were included, of which 29% produced carbapenemases. All CPNFs were molecularly characterized to identify β-lactamase genes. A total of 86% of the carbapenemase-producing P. aeruginosa isolates produced class B carbapenemases. Several assays performed with a sensitivity of >90% for the detection of carbapenemase-producing P. aeruginosa, including all rapid chromogenic assays and the modified carbapenem inactivation method. Most included assays, with the exception of the Manual Blue Carba assay, the Modified Carba NP assay, the boronic acid synergy test, and the metallo-β-lactamase Etest, had specificities of >90% for detecting carbapenemase-producing P. aeruginosa. Class D carbapenemases were the most prevalent carbapenemases among the carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii strains, with 60% of the carbapenemaseproducing A. baumannii isolates producing acquired OXA-type carbapenemases. Although several assays achieved >90% specificity in identifying carbapenemaseproducing A. baumannii, no assays achieved a sensitivity of greater than 90%. Our findings suggest that the available phenotypic tests generally appear to have excellent sensitivity and specificity for detecting carbapenemase-producing P. aeruginosa isolates. However, further modifications to existing assays or novel assays may be necessary to accurately detect carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2858-2864
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Carbapenem-resistant
  • Carbapenemase-producing
  • Carbapenemresistant organisms
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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