Comparison of direct antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods for rapid analysis of bronchial secretion samples in ventilator-associated pneumonia.
ABSTRACT Two hundred and fifty tracheal aspirates were subjected to direct antimicrobial susceptibility testing by disk diffusion, Etest and inoculation on antibiotic-enriched MacConkey agar plates. Results were compared with those obtained using an automated system on microorganisms recovered from standard quantitative culture. A total of 255 microorganisms were isolated from 194 positive samples by the standard quantitative procedure. A total of 85.1%, 82.5% and 72.5% agreement between direct disk diffusion, Etest and antibiotic-enriched MacConkey agar plates, respectively, and the standard procedure was observed in 64 microorganisms obtained from monomicrobial cultures that corresponded to 240 individual microorganism-antimicrobial agent combinations. Three (1.3%) and four (1.7%) very major errors for direct disk diffusion and Etest methods were observed, respectively. The antibiotic-enriched MacConkey agar plate method compared with the standard procedure demonstrated an unacceptable rate of very major (6.7%) and major errors (14.2%). Clinical evaluation of direct susceptibility tests based on the speculative impact on clinical practice by guiding patient's early treatment, if all positive cultures corresponded to infection, was correct in 79.9% for the direct disk diffusion test, 77.8% for the direct Etest method and 68.0% for antibiotic-enriched MacConkey agar plates. Direct diffusion tests (Etest or disk diffusion) applied on respiratory samples are rapid techniques that provide results comparable with standard antimicrobial susceptibility testing in <24 h.