Data_Sheet_1_Rapid Detection of Imipenem Resistance in Gram-Negative Bacteria Using Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscopy: A Preliminary Evaluation.pdf
Background: Enabling faster Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) is critical, especially to detect antibiotic resistance, to provide rapid and appropriate therapy and to improve clinical outcomes. Although several standard and automated culture-based methods are available and widely used, these techniques take between 18 and 24 h to provide robust results. Faster techniques are needed to reduce the delay between test and results.
Methods: Here we present a high throughput AST method using a new generation of tabletop scanning electron microscope, to evaluate bacterial ultra-structural modifications associated with susceptibilities to imipenem as a proof of concept. A total of 71 reference and clinical strains of Gram-negative bacteria were used to evaluate susceptibility toward imipenem after 30, 60, and 90 min of incubation. The length, width and electron density of bacteria were measured and compared between imipenem susceptible and resistant strains.
Results: We correlated the presence of these morphological changes to the bacterial susceptibility and their absence to the bacterial resistance (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa length without [2.24 ± 0.61 μm] and with [2.50 ± 0.68 μm] imipenem after 30 min [p = 3.032E-15]; Escherichia coli width without [0.92 ± 0.07 μm] and with [1.28 ± 0.19 μm] imipenem after 60 min [p = 1.242E-103]). We validated our method by a blind test on a series of 58 clinical isolates where all strains were correctly classified as susceptible or resistant toward imipenem.
Conclusion: This method could be a potential tool for rapidly identifying carbapenem-resistance in Enterobacterales in clinical microbiology laboratories in <2 h, allowing the empirical treatment of patients to be rapidly adjusted.