Assessment of the performance of CHROMagar KPC and Xpert Carba-R assay for the detection of carbapenem-resistant bacteria in rectal swabs: First comparative study from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance


© 2019 International Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of CHROMagar™ KPC compared with Xpert® Carba-R assay for the detection of carbapenem-resistant bacterial isolates from rectal swabs. Methods: Rectal swabs were obtained from patients admitted to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) over a period of 7 months and were screened for carbapenem resistance by either culture on CHROMagar KPC or carbapenemase production using the Xpert Carba-R molecular method. Further testing for carbapenem susceptibility of isolates recovered from CHROMagar KPC was performed using VITEK®2. Results: A total of 1813 rectal swabs were screened, of which 61 (3.4%) were positive for carbapenem resistance by either one or both methods. Both methods were equally efficient in detecting carbapenem resistance in 37/61 swabs (60.7%), mostly positive for Klebsiella pneumoniae (22 isolates), of which 40.9% (9/22) carried blaOXA-48-like and blaNDM. Xpert Carba-R assay detected 12 additional swabs with negative CHROMagar KPC culture and revealed additional carbapenemase-producing organisms carrying blaOXA-48-like and/or blaNDM. CHROMagar KPC recovered organisms in nine swabs not detected by the genotypic method, 44.4% of which were K. pneumoniae. Three swabs yielded false-positive results (carbapenem-susceptible organisms) by both methods. Sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 75.4% and 99.8% for CHROMagar KPC and 80% and 99.8% for Xpert Carba-R. Conclusion: This comparative study of CHROMagar KPC versus Xpert Carba-R in rectal swabs showed a slightly higher sensitivity for the PCR-based method. Whilst CHROMagar KPC provides a less expensive screening method, Xpert Carba-R may be more accurate and faster.

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