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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 654939, 7 pages
Research Article

Phenotypic Detection of Metallo-β-Lactamase in Imipenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

1Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 19 March 2012; Accepted 12 April 2012

Academic Editors: I. F. N. Hung, Z. Markiewicz, and J. Sanchez

Copyright © 2012 Yalda Khosravi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carbapenems are the primary choice of treatment for severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. However, the emergence of carbapenem resistance due to the production of metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) is of global concern. In this study, 90 imipenem- (IPM- or IP-) resistant P. aeruginosa (IRPA) isolates, including 32 previously tested positive and genotyped for MBL genes by PCR, were subjected to double-disk synergy test (DDST), combined disk test (CDT), and imipenem/imipenem-inhibitor (IP/IPI) E-test to evaluate their MBLs detection capability. All three methods were shown to have a sensitivity of 100%. However, DDST was the most specific of the three (96.6%), followed by IP/IPI E-test interpreted based on the single criteria of IP/IPI 8 as positive (62.1%), and CDT was the least specific (43.1%). Based on the data from this evaluation, we propose that only IRPA with IP MIC > 1 6 𝜇 g/mL and IP/IPI 8 by IP/IPI E-test should be taken as positive for MBL activity. With the new dual interpretation criteria, the MBL IP/IPI E-test was shown to achieve 100% sensitivity as well as specificity for the IRPA in this study. Therefore, the IP/IPI E-test is a viable alternative phenotypic assay to detect MBL production in IRPA in our population in circumstances where PCR detection is not a feasible option.