J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Feb 8:dkab017. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkab017. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the proficiency of microbiology laboratories in Spain in antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of Staphylococcus spp.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight Staphylococcus spp. with different resistance mechanisms were selected: six Staphylococcus aureus (CC-01/mecA, CC-02/mecC, CC-03/BORSA, CC-04/MLSBi, CC-06/blaZ and CC-07/linezolid resistant, cfr); one Staphylococcus epidermidis (CC-05/linezolid resistant, 23S rRNA mutation); and one Staphylococcus capitis (CC-08/daptomycin non-susceptible). Fifty-one laboratories were asked to report: (i) AST system used; (ii) antimicrobial MICs; (iii) breakpoints used (CLSI or EUCAST); and (iv) clinical category. Minor, major and very major errors (mEs, MEs and VMEs, respectively) were determined.
RESULTS: The greatest MIC discrepancies found were: (i) by AST method: 19.4% (gradient diffusion); (ii) by antimicrobial agent: daptomycin (21.3%) and oxacillin (20.6%); and (iii) by isolate: CC-07/cfr (48.0%). The greatest error rates were: (i) by AST method: gradient diffusion (4.3% and 5.1% VMEs, using EUCAST and CLSI, respectively); (ii) by breakpoint: 3.8% EUCAST and 2.3% CLSI; (iii) by error type: mEs (0.8% EUCAST and 1.0% CLSI), MEs (1.8% EUCAST and 0.7% CLSI) and VMEs (1.2% EUCAST and 0.6% CLSI); (iii) by antimicrobial agent: VMEs (4.7% linezolid and 4.3% oxacillin using EUCAST); MEs (14.3% fosfomycin, 9.1% tobramycin and 5.7% gentamicin using EUCAST); and mEs (22.6% amikacin using EUCAST).
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical microbiology laboratories should improve their ability to determine the susceptibility of Staphylococcus spp. to some antimicrobial agents to avoid reporting false-susceptible or false-resistant results. The greatest discrepancies and errors were associated with gradient diffusion, EUCAST breakpoints and some antimicrobials (mEs for aminoglycosides; MEs for fosfomycin, aminoglycosides and oxacillin; and VMEs for linezolid and oxacillin).