JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2020 Dec 4;2(4):dlaa101. doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlaa101. eCollection 2020 Dec.
BACKGROUND: The emerging resistance to the last-resort antimicrobial colistin is being reported globally. Underestimation of the burden of colistin resistance and misinterpretation of colistin susceptibility test results, using suboptimal testing methods, may be causing unexplained treatment failures and even mortality among critically ill patients. Thus, this study was conducted at an apex trauma centre to assess the performance of Vitek®2 for colistin susceptibility testing.
METHODS: A total of 910 clinical isolates of Gram-negative bacteria (GNB), including Enterobacterales, Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were tested and analysed for colistin resistance using Vitek®2. Broth microdilution (BMD) was taken as the reference method. The essential (EA) and categorical (CA) agreements and very major error (VME) and major error (ME) rates were calculated. An MIC correlation was taken to be positive with EA ≥ 90%, CA ≥ 90%, VME ≤ 1.5% and ME ≤ 3.0% rates. Spearman's coefficient was calculated and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: A total of 64% of isolates were MDR. Overall, 196 (21.5%) and 110 (12%) of isolates were resistant to colistin by BMD and Vitek®2, respectively. The automated Vitek®2 method failed to detect the resistance in up to 48.5% of GNB tested. When comparing Vitek®2 colistin interpretive results with reference BMD for all 910 isolates, the CA was 88% (798/910) with 10% (95/910) VMEs and 1% (9/910) MEs.
CONCLUSIONS: The Vitek®2 method for colistin susceptibility testing, still in use in some settings; is a suboptimal and unreliable method.