Revised approach for identification and detection of ampicillin and vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus species by using MicroScan panels

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The frequency of antimicrobial agent-resistant enterococci is increasing, making accurate identification and screening for susceptibility essential. We evaluated the ability of MicroScan Positive Breakpoint Combo Type 6 panels (Dade MicroScan Inc., West Sacramento, Calif.) to identify Enterococcus species and to detect ampicillin and vancomycin resistance. A total of 398 well-characterized Enterococcus isolates from two institutions were inoculated into MicroScan panels, into conventional biochemical assays, and into ampicillin and vancomycin agar dilution media. Resistance was verified by the broth macrodilution method. MicroScan panels accurately detected resistance to ampicillin in 132 of 132 enterococcal isolates, while three isolates for which the MICs were <16 μg/ml were classified incorrectly by MicroScan panels as resistant. No beta-lactamase-producing enterococci were detected. All 64 isolates showing resistance to vancomycin (MICs ≥32 μg/ml) were correctly classified by MicroScan panels. Seven isolates for which the vancomycin MICs were 8 and 16 μg/ml were incorrectly classified as susceptible by MicroScan panels, while eight isolates for which the MICs were 4 μg/ml were incorrectly labeled as intermediate. Fourteen of these 15 isolates were subsequently identified as motile enterococci. Overall, there were three major errors in susceptibility testing for ampicillin and 15 minor errors for vancomycin. Conventional testing confirmed the identity of 181 Enterococcus faecalis isolates, 157 E. faecium isolates, and 60 isolates of other species; however, 56 of these 60 isolates were misidentified by the MicroScan panels. After recognition of this problem, a reviased approach which included tests for pigment, motility, and sucrose fermentation was devised. In combination with these additional assays, the conventional MicroScan panels accurately identified the 56 originally misidentified isolates. In summary, the ability of MicroScan panels to detect vancomycin and ampicillin resistance in enterococci was confirmed. Our study found that the inability of MicroScan panels to identify enterococci other than E. faecalis and E. faecium can be compensated for by the addition of standard assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1783
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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