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Duplex real-time PCR assay for rapid detection of ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium

, : Duplex real-time PCR assay for rapid detection of ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 48(2): 556-560

Rapid and accurate identification of carriers of resistant microorganisms is an important aspect of efficient infection control in hospitals. Traditional identification methods of antibiotic-resistant bacteria usually take at least 3 to 4 days after sampling. A duplex real-time PCR assay was developed for rapid detection of ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (ARE). Primers and probes that are used in this assay specifically detected the D-Ala-D-Ala ligase gene of E. faecium and the modified penicillin-binding protein 5 gene (pbp5) carrying the Glu-to-Val substitution at position 629 (Val-629) in a set of 129 tested E. faecium strains with kmown pbp5 sequence. Presence of the Val-629 in the strain set from 11 different countries was highly correlated with ampicillin resistance. In a screening of hospitalized patients, the real-time PCR assay yielded a sensitivity and a specificity for the detection of ARE colonization of 95% and 100%, respectively. The results were obtained 4 h after samples were harvested from overnight broth of rectal swab samples, identifying both species and the resistance marker mutation in pbp5. This novel assay reliably identifies ARE 2 to 3 days more quickly than traditional culture methods, thereby increasing laboratory throughput, making it useful for rectal screening of ARE. The assay demonstrates the advantages of real-time PCR for detection of nosocomial pathogens.


PMID: 14742209

DOI: 10.1128/aac.48.2.556-560.2004

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