Rapid high-resolution detection of colistin resistance in Gram-negative bacteria using flow cytometry: a comparison with broth microdilution, a commercial screening test and WGS
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2021, 76 (12), 3183-3191. 10.1093/jac/dkab328
Background Even though both EUCAST and CLSI consider broth microdilution (BMD) as the reference method for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of colistin, the method exhibits potential flaws related to properties of the colistin molecule. Objectives To develop a flow cytometry method (FCM) for colistin AST and to validate it against BMD, a commercial screening test and WGS. Methods Colistin-mediated loss of membrane integrity in Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp. was detected with the fluorescent probe YoPro-1 by FCM. An international collection of 65 resistant and 109 susceptible isolates were analysed and the colistin concentration required to reach the EC50 was compared with the BMD MIC and the presence of genotypic resistance markers. Results The overall FCM sensitivity and specificity for colistin resistance was 89% and 94%, with E. coli > K. pneumoniae > P. aeruginosa, whereas the performance for Acinetobacter spp. was poor. All tested E. coli were correctly categorized. Three K. pneumoniae isolates with genotypic findings consistent with colistin resistance were detected by FCM but not BMD. Compared with BMD, FCM delivered AST results with a 75% reduction of time. Conclusions Here, we present a rapid FCM-based AST assay for qualitative and quantitative testing of colistin resistance in E. coli and K. pneumoniae. The assay revealed probable chromosomal colistin resistance in K. pneumoniae that was not detected by BMD. If confirmed, these results question the reliability of BMD for colistin testing.