Comparison of 11 phenotypic assays for accurate detection of carbapenemase- producing enterobacteriaceae

Pranita D. Tamma, Belita N.A. Opene, Andrew Gluck, Krizia K. Chambers, Karen C. Carroll, Patricia J. Simner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Early identification of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is essential to prevent their dissemination within health care settings. Our objective was to evaluate the accuracy of 11 phenotypic assays for the detection of CPE. Two collections of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) isolates were evaluated, including 191 retrospective isolates (122 CP-CRE and 69 non-CP isolates) as well as 45 prospective clinical isolates (15 CP-CRE and 30 non-CP-CRE) obtained over a 3-month period. The sensitivity and specificity of each test was determined, with molecular genotype serving as the gold standard. Among the retrospective cohort, sensitivities ranged from 72% for the boronic acid synergy test for the detection of KPC producers to β98% for the modified Carba NP, the Rapidec Carba NP, the manual Blue Carba, and the modified carbapenem inactivation method for the detection of any CPE. Sensitivity differed among tests across enzyme classes. All assays had excellent specificity exceeding 95%, with the exception of the boronic acid synergy test (88%) and modified Hodge test (91%). Prospectively, 45 CRE isolates were encountered over a 3-month period, including 15 CPE (33%) and 30 non-CPCRE (67%). Results from the prospective cohort were similar. However, a decrease in specificity was observed across most tests, likely due to restricted inclusion of non- CP-CRE to assess the specificity of the assays. Overall, accuracy of CPE detection varied across phenotypic tests. Local epidemiology of CP genotypes, turnaround time, and ease of incorporation into the laboratory workflow should be considered when selecting a phenotypic assay for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1055
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • Carbapenem-resistant organisms
  • Carbapenemase-producing organisms
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of 11 phenotypic assays for accurate detection of carbapenemase- producing enterobacteriaceae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this