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  • 1 Otto-von-Guericke University Institute of Medical Microbiology, Infection Control and Prevention Leipziger Str. 44 39120 Magdeburg Germany
  • 2 Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung Braunschweig Germany
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Sepsis represents a life-threatening infection requiring the immediate start of antibacterial treatment to reduce morbidity. Thus, laboratories use direct antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) to rapidly generate preliminary results from positive blood cultures. As the direct AST has not yet been published to be evaluated with EUCAST breakpoints, the purpose of the study was to investigate the reliability of the direct agar diffusion test to correctly produce AST results from positive monobacterial blood cultures compared with the VITEK2-based definitive AST, when current EUCAST breakpoints were used.A total of 428 isolates from unselected monobacterial routine blood cultures and 110 challenge strains were included. Direct agar diffusion-based and standard VITEK2-based AST of 2803 bacterium-drug combinations yielded a total clinical category agreement of 95.47% with 1.28% very major errors and 3.42% combined major and minor errors. On the species level, very major errors were observed in the species-drug combinations Enterococcus spp.-high-level gentamicin (10.87%) and Staphylococcus spp.-rifampicin (5%), only. No very major errors occurred with Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.In most species-drug combinations, the direct agar diffusion test using EUCAST breakpoints precisely predicted the result of the definitive antibiotic susceptibility test and, thus, it can be used to optimize empiric antibiotic therapy until definitive results are available.

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